It's probably one of the least popular tasks in maintaining any household but it has to be done, and if you're a keen baker you know how important a clean oven is. Whether you're embarking on a signature, a technical or a showstopper bake, you're not going to get that beautiful baking aroma from an oven caked (no pun intended) in grease.

You're maybe wondering why we - a tenancy deposit scheme - are concerned with how your Victoria Sponge works out, but the condition of an oven can often be an ingredient for disputes surrounding deposits. Between 2017 and 2018, 62% of claims made by landlords and letting agents related to cleaning. This figure covers all sorts of cleaning charges, but the states of ovens and other kitchen appliances in particular regularly pop up in disputes.

We suggest a couple of key points on oven cleanliness that may well help you prevent losing out when it comes to the repayment of a deposit.

First and foremost stick to one of the golden rules of any tenancy - return things in the order you found them. In other words, no matter how frequently or infrequently you don the marigolds during your tenancy, when it comes to the end of the tenancy make sure the oven is as clean as it was the day you moved in. When that oven door is closed it may be easy to forget that the inside needs a clean, but it could be a costly oversight. Looking around all the main supermarkets you won't find an oven cleaning product priced more than £4, and that's for the top of the range stuff. Leave your landlord or agent with a dirty oven though and - due to time constraints - they may have to bring in oven cleaning professionals. The price tag for that kind of service? Around £50 - and that's something that the landlord or agent could look to claim from your deposit.

The other advice is to give the oven a clean on a fairly regular basis. You'll find frequent cleans quicker and much less challenging than the horror of tackling 12 months' worth of grease.

Follow the steps above and it might help being reunited with your deposit a piece of cake...