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.”