It's party season and even with the best-laid plans, spillages can still happen, which in turn can lead to cleaning costs - a common cause of tenancy deposit disputes. In Scotland between 2018 and 2019, 66% of all disputes between landlords, agents and tenants came about as a result of cleaning issues.

To avoid any scary spillage costs this Halloween, there are steps you can take as soon as it happens to make sure it doesn't cost you the tenancy deposit. As soon as the wine (it's always red wine, isn't it?) is spilt, try and clean it up immediately and if it's difficult to remove then you can enlist the help of a professional cleaner.

Does the stain mean that the property is not being returned to the landlord or letting agent to the level of condition agreed in the tenancy agreement? This is the most important question.

When your tenancy starts, you should have been provided with a tenancy agreement by your landlord or letting agent to read and sign. This sets out the responsibilities of each party during the tenancy in contract form and will include information about issues such as how much you must pay in rent and what condition the property should be returned in when the tenancy has ended.

Your landlord or letting agent should also conduct a check-in report before you move in to the property, and a check-out report when you leave. This will set out the condition of items within the property and is used as evidence during the adjudication process to establish whether damage had been made by a tenant and, as a result, if any money is owed.

Whether deductions can be made or not will depend on how thorough the check-in report is and if the tenancy agreement specifies that the deposit can be used to cover the costs of cleaning or repairs.

Your landlord can deduct for a red wine spillage if the tenancy agreement states clearly that cleaning or damage is a possible use of tenancy deposit money and only if the spillage has caused the property to be in a worse state at the point of the check-out report than it was at the check-in report.

For tenants, it's vital that you know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to getting your tenancy deposit money back or potentially losing some of it due to property damage during your tenancy.