I havent read the whole thread. I have been a renter, and I have never lost a cent of bond, but we have left the houses we moved out of in fantastic shape.
We now rent out a property. Initially we rented it through an agent, when the tenants moved out it was FOUL and i mean DISGUSTING, they had dog foot prints all over the walls, dog urine through the carpet and under the lino, grime around all the light switches, mould in the bathroom, holes in the 14 month old carpet etc. When threatened to take them to the, i forget the name, ombudsmen type person the property manager threatened me "i hope you have a lot of money" and threatened the carpet cleaner with slander charges as he told us there was no way they had done proper rent inspections, the whole yard was overgrown. The had elegedly done one 6 weeks prior! The whole thing cost us thousands, and was really upsetting, we got there whole bond, but it wasnt enough. but we just let it go as the manager was such a *****
Anyways now we manage it ourselves and we are so much happier. We initially had a single woman live there. She broke lease, but we worked with her to find tenants that would take a lease starting the next day. When she moved out the oven was dirty, and a few bits and pieces werent right, but she had been a good tenant, so we returned the bond in full, cleaned the oven and tidied the gardens ourselves. Now our tenants are a young couple, due to have a baby any day now. They called us to say the aircon broke, we had it repaired the next day. They dropped a bottle of chapagne around to us for xmas!
I do agree that some landlords must be pedantic, but some managers are useless to (not you )