The majority of tenants are concerned that their deposit has not been placed in a tenancy protection scheme and fear that their landlord or letting agent has kept the deposit, research has revealed.
The study, conducted by online letting agents PropertyLetByUs.com, has revealed that 70% of tenants are worried about their deposit, while just 50% of tenants have ever received confirmation that their deposit is in a protection scheme and three quarters of tenants believe their landlord, or agent, will try and keep the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
It is estimated that £3.2bn worth of deposits are being held in the deposit schemes, or by letting agents and landlords, which partly explains why the government is now keen to reform rental deposits and is looking at what it can do to make sure that people who rent have ‘proper consumer protection, including protection from landlords who withhold deposits unreasonably’.
Jane Morris, Managing Director of PropertyLetByUs.com commented: “Tenants are right to be concerned. While deposit protection schemes protect tenants, there is little or no policing to ensure landlords and agents are compliant.
“Our research shows that tenants simply don’t trust landlords and agents with their deposits, which is disappointing in light of the fact that the schemes have been around for many years. Agents and landlords have a legal obligation to put deposits in one of the three approved schemes within 30 days of receiving it.
“There definitely needs to be reform and hopefully the Government will introduce new measures that will ensure that tenant deposits are fully protected.”
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