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October 10

2018
by Samantha Altman
Over 1.5 million renters are at risk of losing their deposit as rogue landlords ignore deposit protection laws

A third of renters claim their landlords have failed to put their money into a deposit protection scheme. This is according to a new study by comparethemarket.com.

Landlords must make sure any security deposit they hold on behalf of tenants is held by a government-authorised scheme.

The study shows 33 per cent of renters – around 1.5 million people – say their landlords have not safeguarded their deposits, while another 35 per cent do not know the whereabouts of their own downpayment.

Not protecting deposits can leave landlords in legal difficulties should they need to evict tenants at a future date, as well as facing the possibility of further penalties

Tenants say landlords and letting agents are also breaking the law in other ways:

  • 19 per cent of renters have no written tenancy agreement
  • 18 per cent of renters have lost money when they leave a rental property
  • 30 per cent of landlords are slow to deal with repairs and maintenance – with 9 per cent claiming landlords can take between two and four weeks to resolve the issue
  • 12 per cent of renters must repeatedly chase landlords for a response to inquiries about their home

Many tenants agreed repairs took longer than they should because one in seven had to contact landlords through a letting agent.

Tenants also seem to lack contents insurance for their rented homes – with many assuming landlord insurance will cover them, which it does not.

Nearly half of 18 to 34 year olds had no contents cover for their personal belongings, while 35 per cent of those aged up to 24 years old did not know they were responsible for their cover and 10 per cent confessed they had not read their tenancy agreements, so did not know they had to take out their own insurance.

“It is vital that renters take control by protecting their deposits and also with contents insurance, to protect their possessions,” said a spokesman for comparethemarket.com, which compiled the research.

For more detailed advice on your legal obligations as a landlord, or for advice as a tenant, take a look at our handy resource section.

 

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