22 March 2010
While 99.4 per cent of private tenants’ rent deposits are returned without problems at the end of the lease period, there has been a marked shift in the outcome of disputes in the remaining cases, with landlords being more successful with claims than a year ago.
An analysis of the dispute resolution scheme run by mydeposits.co.uk, a leading provider of tenancy deposit protection, shows that landlords are currently being awarded part or all of disputed amounts in 51 per cent of cases, with 43 per cent split with the tenant and eight per cent awarded in full to the landlord.
“The more equitable balance between tenant and landlord has come about because landlords have improved the quality of the evidence they are providing to substantiate claims” says Eddie Hooker, chief executive of mydeposits.co.uk
“The law starts with the principle that the money is the tenant’s. It’s up to the landlord to justify withholding all or part of a deposit.”
mydeposits.co.uk protects over 400,000 tenants’ deposits valued at over £360m. Since tenancy deposit protection became law in April 2007 the scheme has received about 19,000 calls from tenants about possible complaints, of which around 11,000 have been settled amicably between landlord and tenant without the need for referral of a dispute to formal adjudication.
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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 and letting agents 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.