There has been a significant increase in the amount of tenancy deposits taken on assured shorthold tenancies in England and Wales by landlords, reflecting the growth in popularity of buy-to-let property as an attractive investment, it has been claimed.
Fresh data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) revels that at the end of March 2016 there were a total of 3.426m deposits protected across England and Wales, which is an increase of around 360,000 over the year.
The total value of the deposits being protected amounts to £3.567bn - an increase of £379m over the year.
“These figures demonstrate the continuing growth of the private rented sector, which is now larger than the social housing sector in England and Wales,” said Steve Harriott chief executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The average value of deposits protected, however, stayed static and on the 31 March 2016 the average deposit was £1,041. This compares to £979 four years ago.
Harriott added: “The huge number of deposits being paid by tenants at a value of some £3.5bn demonstrates the need for tenancy deposit schemes to ensure that deposits are protected for tenants.”