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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Major landlord to scrap tenancy deposits

Rental operator Get Living has announced that it is to abolish tenancy deposits for new residents from July and return existing deposits collectively worth £3m to more than 3,000 existing tenants.

Get Living is behind the country’s largest single-site PRS scheme at the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village, now called East Village, E20, which features 1,439 homes, with a further 4,000 homes in the pipeline across the UK.

Deposits will be returned to all tenants on the condition that they meet various requirements, which include having passed referencing or possessing a guarantor and being up to date with their rental payments.

Neil Young, CEO of Get Living, said: “We know that the cost of living can be high so, as a responsible landlord with a long-term perspective, it is important for us to be able to identify and address areas where we can alleviate the burden on our residents.

“Scrapping security deposits as a pre-requirement and returning deposits to current residents is yet another step we are taking to show we are firmly on the side of renters.”

Young hopes that deposit-free renting “becomes the norm” to help make the PRS even more attractive for renters.

He added: “We have great relationships with our residents and, given they are taking such good care of our homes, why should we hold six weeks’ rent?” 

  • Andrew McCausland

    Good luck with that!

    You take a deposit as you have no real idea of who are the good or the bad tenants when you hand them the keys for the first time. There is always a risk for the landlord to hand over control of an asset often worth £25,000+ to someone who is basically a total stranger. The deposit helps mitigate this risk.

    We use Rent4Sure for our referencing (big recommendation from us) but even with this it makes no allowances for "life events" that may hit a tenant e.g. loosing their job, relationship breakdown etc. There are simply too many things you can't plan for or control in tenants lives.

    Having a guarantor gives you another bite at getting your money back in the event of a problem, and we certainly hold out for a guarantor on most of the properties we manage. However, we find that having cash in the bank in the form of a deposit is still the best way to ensure the tenant meets their obligations.

    Whilst I applaud Get Living for the move we will not be following in their footsteps.

  • icon

    Not too sure about that one, leaving oneself wide open and the tenant knows you are not holding any money at all if the place is not correctly left.
    Been a landlord for many,many years and find even to pay for a thorough clean the money is there. Try to give back the full deposit usually but it does give the landlord that bit of leway. Dont know if it is puting too much ownness on the tenant as you are puting your complete trust in them, big responsibility,really not sure. Anne R.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    This isn't your typical Landlord- a single, large site brings with it huge efficencies fo management. They also manage the whole processs in house enabling them to save on additional costs such as agents. Combine those two things and they can probably offset this risk against boosted margins. What is more, they have probably calculated that, charge no deposit but increase rent's slightly and the boosted income will cover the average claims. Tenants are still contractually liable so not a crazy move- but only works on this sort of scale & set up.

  • icon

    I did the same at the tail end of last year. All good tenants of more than 3 years got a voluntary goodwill refund. You generally know the ones that aren't going to let you down.

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