Fewer than 1% of tenancies in England and Wales ended in a dispute in the 12 months to March 2018.
Data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – based on its own numbers and freedom of information requests regarding the other Government schemes – found that of the 3.74m deposits that are protected, only 0.85% (31,865) came under dispute over the 12-month period.
The figure is slightly up from 0.83% last year.
This is the eighth consecutive year that fewer than 1% of all tenancies ended in a dispute and comes despite the increasing number of rental properties and deposits.
In comparison, there were 924,181 deposits protected in England and Wales in March 2008, TDS said.
Data from TDS showed its insured scheme had a dispute rate of 1.14%, and 0.49% for its custodial version.
A total of £4.2bn was held in deposit protection schemes as of March 2018, across TDS, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and Mydeposits.
The average value of a deposit was £1,100.
TDS was quickest at adjudications on custodial deposits – attributed to allowing online negotiations – with disputes resolved in 3.55 days, compared with 21 at the DPS and 27 at MyDeposits.
It took TDS 14.79 days to resolve disputes in its insured schemes, compared with 26 days at the two other schemes.
The most common reason for disputes among TDS users was cleaning, cited in 54% of cases, followed by damage (49%), decoration (31%), rent arrears (20%) and gardening (16%).
Steve Harriott, chief executive of TDS, said: “As the private rented sector and the need for robust deposit protection continues to grow, as it has done over the last decade and more, it’s important to take stock of where we are and look for trends.
“Despite the number of tenancy deposits protected increasing by over 300% in the last ten years, the rates of disputes have remained regularly below 1%.
“That means the overwhelming majority of tenancies end in agreement between the tenant and the landlord or letting agent about how the deposit is awarded.
“It’s unsurprising to see cleaning remain as the number one reason for disputes due to its subjectivity: what might seem clean to one party could be viewed differently by another.”