The Dispute Service [TDS] has just released its second Annual review on its Dispute Resolution activities across the UK.

TDS is a not-for-profit company which operates several statutory tenancy deposit protection schemes in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

As part of the overall service, agents, landlords and tenants have access to free dispute resolution about the distribution of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.  It also provides free mediation and conciliation services in England & Wales and Scotland, to help landlords and tenants with tenant disputes through the TDS Resolution/Tenancy Redress Service and SDS Resolve.

TDS also provides a resolution service for Zero Deposit, a deposit replacement product. In October 2022 it also launched the New Homes Ombudsman Service to provide a redress service for consumers complaining about their new home.

The tenancy deposit dispute data in the report is broken down by jurisdiction and tenancy deposit scheme (TDS Insured, TDS Custodial, SafeDeposits Scotland and TDS Northern Ireland) and reveals what the disputes are about, who initiates a dispute, how often the tenant and landlord win a case and more.

How many tenancies end in dispute?

Our experience is that disputes arise in only 1% of the deposits we protect each year and in about 3% of tenancies which end each year.

“We receive about 22,500 initial dispute requests each year at The Dispute Service. Many of these are resolved by the landlords and tenants, using our mid-tenancy mediation service, or by our team’s early resolution efforts. We issue around 15,500 formal adjudications each year. It’s important to highlight the data of these disputes and share it with the industry, to help to avoid common disagreements in the future,” commented Steve Harriott, Chief Executive at the Dispute Service.

Cause of disputes

The review shows that most of the disputes raised with TDS involve more than one issue, that cleaning and damage remain the most common areas of dispute. This data is consistent across all schemes.

Who initiates the disputes?

During 2021/22, the review illustrates that the majority of dispute applications were initiated by tenants across all TDS schemes. This is a continuation of a trend seen over the last 5 years with tenants raising more disputes than agents/landlords.   This is likely to reflect an increased awareness of our free resolution service among tenants who have been renting in the private rented sector for a number of years over several tenancies and now fully understand that they are always able to commence the dispute process.

The New Homes Ombudsman Service

Furthermore, this latest review introduces The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS). In late 2021, TDS was appointed as the New Homes Ombudsman by the New Homes Quality Board. This new service offers redress to purchases of new homes in the first two years after completion of the new home and was launched in October 2022.

The latest TDS Resolution Annual Review is now available to download here.

Not with TDS?

TDS is dedicated to supporting the private rented sector with our dispute resolution and guidance for landlords, letting agents, and tenants.

If you have not yet joined the free TDS Custodial deposit protection scheme or the Insured protection scheme, it’s simple to switch!

Protect your deposits today


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