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Landlords accused of ‘illegally’ withholding deposits

Buy-to-let landlords have been accused of “routinely and illegally” withholding deposits from tenants and subjecting many people living in private rented accommodation to “surprise evictions”.

In an article in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday, it was claimed that students and young adults early in their careers are typically “most vulnerable” when it comes to not getting their full deposit back after vacating.

The article pointed to “evidence from multiple sources” that suggests landlords often break the law by fully or partially withholding money stumped up as a deposit, which are often not placed in a government-backed deposit tenancy deposit protection scheme (DPS).


Reference is made to recent research by Nationwide Building Society that claims half of students do not get their full deposit back while at university and that they lose an average £150, along with a separate study by comparison website comparethemarket.com that reveals a third of renters know their landlords have not placed their money into a government-backed DPS.

Polly Neate, chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, said: “Every day our advisers hear from people trying to navigate the common pitfalls of renting – from unprotected deposits and unfair terms in tenancy agreements, to dangerous conditions.”

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