Landlords and tenants no longer at war, says TDS boss
Friday 20th April 2012
The ‘them’ and ‘us’ antagonism between landlords and tenants is disappearing, thanks to the introduction of mandatory tenancy deposit protection five years ago.
The claim was made by TDS boss Steve Harriott, speaking at the Property Business Show.
He also forecast an increase in the number of authorised deposit protection schemes, together with widened use of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Harriott said: “No longer is it automatically believed that private sector landlords will regard the deposits they hold as part of the rent, nor that tenants will withhold the last rent payments for fear of not getting their deposits back.
“And, both landlords and agents have become much better at managing disputes at the end of a tenancy.”
Harriott cited the low level of tenancy deposit disputes of around only 1% over the last five years as evidence of this.
According to the English Housing Survey, some 2.75m households have assured shorthold tenancies and the latest CLG statistics show that around 2.36m deposits are now safeguarded.
According to Harriott, the two existing insured tenancy deposit protection schemes, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and mydeposits, are bidding to renew their contracts, and it is possible that additional schemes will be authorised.
In 2016, the custodial scheme, the Deposit Potection Service, will also have to re-tender. This process may also bring more competition to the market place.
Pointing out that three custodial protection schemes are likely to be operating in Scotland from this summer, Harriott said that this might lead to the liquidation or takeover of some letting agents.
He claimed: “In Scotland – as in England – there has been no requirement to keep deposits in a client account and almost certainly some of this money may no longer be readily available. When the requirement comes to transfer deposits to one of the deposit protection schemes, some letting agents may find themselves in difficulty.”
Harriott also predicted: “Alternative Dispute Resolution could be extended further in the private rented sector to include possession cases, rent arrears and housing disrepair.”
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