Thousands of buy-to-let landlords are breaking the law by not putting their tenant’s deposit into a government-backed deposit tenancy deposit protection scheme (DPS), it has been claimed
While landlords are entitled to seek a deposit from tenants as security in case they damage the property or break the terms of a tenancy agreement, deposits taken on ASTs by landlords or letting agents must be protected within 30 days in any one of three government-authorised insurance based or custodial deposit protection schemes operated by Deposit Protection Service (DPS), my|deposits and Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
But new research from comparethemarket.com reveals that one third - 33% - of renters know that their landlord has not placed their money into a government-backed DPS.
Somewhat shockingly, one fifth - 19% - of tenants surveyed also claimed that they do not have a contract with their landlord, which could have serious ramifications should any major legal issues arise.
Almost a fifth - 18% - of renters polled claimed to have had money taken from their deposit when leaving a property.
The study also suggests that some landlords can be slow to respond to renter requests, with almost one third - 30% - reporting that they need to chase their landlord when a problem requires fixing, although the research found that the landlord is not always at fault, as barriers to access could account for some of these issues, with 14% renters surveyed required to go through their letting agency in order to contact their landlord.