4 April 2008
mydeposits.co.uk, a Government-authorised insurance-based tenancy deposit protection scheme protecting over £177 million of deposits, has published its figures marking the first anniversary of the legislation.
Out of 200,000 individual deposits protected throughout the year by over 31,000 landlords and letting agents, there were only 341 actual disputes notified to the scheme.
From these 341 disputes, only 20% (64 cases) of the more intractable cases needed to be adjudicated through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This process relies on evidence provided by all parties in order to reach a final and binding decision on how much, if any, of the deposit should be returned to the tenant.
In 86% of these more serious disputes, the ADR has found in favour of the tenant: 45% will have received their full deposit and 41% will have received a proportion of their deposit as determined by the adjudicator. In 11% of these cases landlords and letting agents have been able to withhold the total deposit.
David Salusbury, Chairman, mydeposits.co.uk, said:
"After only 12 months, it is quite clear that tenancy deposit protection has clarified the rights and responsibilities of tenant, landlord and letting agent. With so few disputes actually being notified and only 20% of these requiring external adjudication, it seems that this kind of self-regulation is proving to be extremely effective.
"The risk to landlords of not complying with the legislation is considerable. Not only would a landlord appear to be totally oblivious to their legal obligations but they will receive a fine of three times the deposit. In addition, for as long as the deposit remains unprotected, a landlord faces significant limits on their ability to seek possession."
* The professional bodies are:
For further information and case studies of tenants, landlords and letting agents who have been using mydeposits.co.uk, please contact:
Tel: 020 7840 8906
Mob: 07508 031 084
Notes to editors:
Mydeposits is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver an insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from Communities & Local Government. Landlords wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and register by visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk. Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible. In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.
About Hamilton Fraser Insurance:
Hamilton Fraser Insurance is the trading name of HFIS plc, a long-established insurance broker, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Hamilton Fraser provides insurance services to clients throughout the UK and is located in New Barnet, Hertfordshire. Hamilton Fraser is a major player in the highly specialised property insurance sector, and offers a tailored product to both residential landlords and managing agents. The NLA and Hamilton Fraser have a long-standing relationship, with Hamilton Fraser offering its range of Landlord Solutions insurance products to members of the NLA.
About the National Landlords Association:
The National Landlords Association (NLA) exists to protect and promote the interests of private residential landlords. With almost 20,000 individual landlords from around the United Kingdom and over 90 local authority associates, it provides a comprehensive range of benefits and services to its members and strives to raise standards in rented accommodation. The NLA seeks to safeguard landlords’ legitimate interests by making their collective voice heard by local and central government and the media. The NLA seeks a fair legislative and regulatory environment for the private-rented sector while aiming to ensure that landlords are aware of their statutory rights and responsibilities.