The cost of cleaning a property at the end of a tenancy continues to be the most common cause of disputes between private landlords and tenants in the UK, figures released by the Tenant Deposit Scheme have revealed.
Statistics published by the organisation show that the issue accounted for 52 per cent of all disagreements in 2011 - 2012, up from 49 per cent in 2010 - 2011.
And according to Pat Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, the news should not come as a surprise given the approach that some tenants take to their rented properties.
"Many tenants fail to keep their property clean and time and time again we see filthy kitchens and bathrooms at check-out," she explained.
"Tenants rarely treat their rented property in the same way as they would a property they owned themselves.
"We all know that accidents do happen during a tenancy, but tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear."
Besides cleaning, damage proved to be the second most common reason for disputes - making up for 45 per cent of disagreements - while redecoration was the issue in 28 per cent of cases.
With rent arrears causing a problem in 18 per cent of disputes and gardening in 12 per cent, it seems that tenants need to be more aware of the aspects of the property that they are responsible for maintaining.
Indeed, this is something landlords can make clear to them from the outset, while encouraging them to report any damage can be an effective way to avoid disagreements at the end of a tenancy.
It's also important to remember that landlord insurance policies can be a useful addition in protecting anyone who lets property from some of the financial risks involved with the buy-to-let sector.