30 September 2008
Tenants are still losing thousands of pounds in deposits each month by not sticking to tenancy agreements, according to mydeposits.co.uk, a Government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
The average deposit protected at mydeposits is now £771 and with 12 per cent of all disputes in July 2008 finding in favour of the landlord or agent, it is estimated that tenants could be losing in excess of £15,000 per month by not keeping to the terms of their tenancy agreements.*
Mandatory tenancy deposit protection (TDP) rules were introduced to ensure a fair and balanced way for landlords and tenants to resolve any disputes at the end of a tenancy. Since April 2007, landlords have to give reasons and evidence (if called upon) if they withhold some or all of the deposit. As long as tenants read and understand their responsibilities in their tenancy agreements, landlords are not permitted to unfairly withhold their cash.
mydeposits is helping tenants by providing concrete advice on how to keep their deposits:
TOP TIPS FOR TENANTS: how to keep your deposit
David Salusbury, Chairman, mydeposits.co.uk, said both tenants and landlords need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities:
"Most tenancies end amicably but it is a two-way relationship. Most landlords behave fairly and only withhold deposits where necessary. But it’s also incumbent on tenants to ensure they treat the property with respect and pay their rent on time. If tenants act according to the rules laid out in their agreements, a landlord has no right to withhold their deposit.
"The onus remains firmly on the landlord to comply with the law but it makes sense for tenants to ensure their deposit is protected by asking to see confirmation. Landlords must provide proof of protection within 14 days of receiving the deposit."
* Methodology: mydeposits.co.uk protected 28,730 deposits worth £22,173,089 in July 2008. Therefore, the average deposit amount protected in the scheme was £771.
* 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.