Figures published by the government's Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) have shown that cleaning is the single largest cause of disputes between private landlords and tenants.

The TDS, which was holding £757 million in deposits by the end of January, revealed a researching a number of case studies that 52 per cent of disputes involved cleaning.

Meanwhile, property damage accounted for 45 per cent of the total disputes and demands for redecoration caused around 25 per cent.

Lawrence Greenberg, chief executive of the TDS, said: "We believe it is important that landlords, tenants and agents understand what can lead to deposit disputes."

The findings were consistent with figures published by government-approved deposit protection scheme mydeposits.co.uk in October 2008, which showed that 38 per cent of disputes centred on cleaning costs, while 11 per cent concerned property damage.

Mr Greenberg commented that it is important that both landlords and tenants clarify from the outset what they interpret as being clean and what they constitute as cleaning.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19030215-ADNFCR

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