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‘Deposit-free renting’ necessary to protect tenancies, says agent

With personal debt burden continuing to rise, anti-deposit campaigner Ajay Jagota of Dlighted has once again called for tenant deposits to be scrapped.

The latest figures show that Britain’s person debt pile now stands at just over £200bn and is in touching distance of its peak in September 2008.

A large chuck of personal debt relates to credit cards, personal loans and car finance, but it is not clear who is doing the borrowing and why.

But Jagota, who wants to see more landlords and tenants to use his company’s deposit-free renting service, claims that a number of tenants are being forced to borrow money just to make ends meet, which includes raising funds for tenancy deposit, and this is putting their tenancies at risk.

He said: “If you ask for a tenancy deposit, you are immediately limiting yourself to tenants who have close to £1,000 to hand. More and more of them now have to borrow that money or run up other debts to be able to afford to be your customer.

“By putting them in that position you aren’t protecting yourself, you’re making it more and more likely that your property will stay empty, end up empty or that you will end up facing severe rent arrears or bailiff and lawyers fees.

“As a landlord and letting agent myself I’m not trying to run a charity, but surely it is absolutely senseless to voluntarily put tenancies at risk by imposing a financial burden that only offers a fraction of the £600,000 of asset protection an insurance policy like ours does, and doesn’t offer free legal support and a rent guarantee. 

“My priority is to find and keep good tenants, and there is a better way to do that – and that way is deposit-free renting.”

  • Kristjan Byfield

    If personal debt is spiralling then surely this supports the need for cash deposits. Almost all deposit replacement schemes work on the basis that the tenant pays 1 week's rent but is still liable for the full 6 week liability of the deposit (and of course liability beyond that under the tenancy agreement). However, this will have to be money which, if needed, they will need access to. If debts are ever higher, suggesting that savings are non-existent, then surely you want as much as possible set aside to be accessed as needed- not to have to chase a tenant that no longer has that money available. Or am I missing something here?

  • icon

    You could not be more wrong
    Firstly the UK debt burden cannot be solved or even addressed by a deposit free tenancy system. But it’s far more than just the deposit money that needs to be looked into when renting a property

    Renting property is just a business like any other. If you want to rent a house a car or anything else? You put down some security in case you default, and as security in case of any damage. I’m sure the renters would not just give you their belongings with no deposit in the hope they when they want them back you will just return them and in the same condition as when they lent it to you and without any fuss.

    If there is no deposit the renters have no incentive to look after the property and to behave in a civilised manner or to pay the rent on time, or even at all in many cases.

    If a person has reached their age of responsibility and needs a home to live in, and they can’t raise a deposit then they should ask themselves how they got to this age without having a penny to their name. Landlords are not the moral guardians of society.

    If a tenant needs to borrow the money for the deposit then as far as I’m concerned as a business owner that’s good. It means that they are credit worthy and it also means that they will take care of the property because they will want their deposit back.

    Just saying that an insurance scheme will take care of it is a total cop out, firstly, claiming an insurance pay out because someone else has defaulted when you know in advance that this might happen is disgraceful way of planning to run a business.

    Secondly, insurance claims put up the costs up for everyone else, and of course that also adds to the UK debt, plus the stress of having your property trashed. This route will eventually put up the costs for everyone else.

    But more importantly it has been proved over and over and beyond any doubt that people who can’t or won’t pay a deposit are the very last people they you should rent your property to.

    If they can’t pay, they can’t have. That is the rule throughout society and throughout the entire world, because those that don’t pay and want things free are the same people that abuse society. That is why education and learning is the only way out of theirs and the world’s problems, not free stuff given by well-meaning but naive people.

    By the way, none of this should be applied to the severely disabled or to our injured soldiers. They should be able to live totally free and in comfort for all of their lives, paid for by society, not by private landlords.

    As far as being more likely to be able to rent a property without a deposit, I’m sure that’s true, free stuff is always popular, but whether these non depositors are desirable is defiantly questionable, and as I understand it, there is no shortage or people wanting to rent, and massive shortage of available properties. Rentable properties aren’t usually available for very long, so there is no need to even consider a non-deposit renter scheme.

    If all the retail shops cut their prices in half they would sell more, but that is such a bad business model because they wouldn’t make any profit, and the sole purpose of business is to make a profit, and there’s nothing wrong with making a profit, that’s what business is for.

    Fortunately this barmy idea of deposit free renting is never going happen, because if it did there would be almost no properties to rent at all, and that would be a catastrophe for the 90% of great tenants. Some “expert” you are!
    This is just a money making scheme for you to get commission from the insurance company.

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