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Generation Rent steps up pressure for ‘lifetime deposits’

Activists group Generation Rent is urging renters who have renewed their tenancy but not moved since May 2019 to check if their deposit is worth more than five week’s rent. 

If it is, the group claims the difference is defined under the Tenant Fees Act as a prohibited payment, which a landlord must refund if asked.

The Tenant Fees Act made most fees to tenants in England illegal in June 2019, and placed restrictions on other charges made by landlords and letting agents. This includes the security deposit for a new tenancy being capped at five weeks’ rent.


According to Freedom of Information requests to the government, submitted by Generation Rent, the average deposit value before the cap came in was £1,108 and this fell to £1,025 in March 2021. 

However, the activists claim that if there had been no cap, and deposits had increased at the same rate as rents in those two years, this figure would have been £1,138 - some £113 more than the actual average.

Comments by the Baroness who is director of the group, Alicia Kennedy, suggests this is a bid to stiffen up the provisions for so-called lifetime deposits, advocated by the government and set to be introduced via a White Paper this autumn.

She says: “It is good to see that the Tenants Fees Act is having a positive impact in reducing tenants’ costs of moving home. If you’ve signed a tenancy since June 2019 and paid more than five weeks’ rent as a deposit then you are protected.

“But deposits remain a large barrier to moving, making it hard for tenants to move out of an unsuitable property and putting tenants who face eviction at risk of homelessness. Renters who lack savings need a way of transferring their deposit from their current tenancy to the next one without being ripped off with a poverty premium.

“As the government finalises its Lifetime Deposit proposals it must standardise and speed up the deposit disputes process, which currently allows unscrupulous landlords to waste tenants’ time with spurious claims.”

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    It doesn’t matter about all those groups anti-everything they can have their white paper, green paper and all the rest of it and keep braying I wonder what animal does that.
    Deposit was supposed to protect the Property not the Deposit ?. Can’t see shortage of housing, no savers they were abolished, the economy of the uk now built on unsustainable
    debt, young persons encouraged to buy unaffordable over priced Flats to make profit for Banks and big Institutions. Looks like another crash imminent, too much cheap money, we are in trouble, China and several other as well. I have seen at least 4 before but everyone in denial until it happens. We will all get our day in the Sunshine including the protesters, how can they afford all this free time where is their money coming from.

  • Trevor Cooper

    And where is the protection for landlords against tenants not paying the last month's rent of their tenancy?

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    I am in favour of lifetime deposits but it is essential that the transition is worked out and underwritten by the protection scheme. It cannot expect the outgoing landlord to release the deposit before moving day as many things do not become visible until the tenant belongings are out. I, as the incoming landlord would not be prepared to allow a new tenant to move in unless the full deposit was already in hand. Otherwise it allows those delinquent tenants to move in without even the meagre deposits we are allowed to take now.


    I agree - but given the length of time sometimes necessary to charge / argue / agree the deductions how is the time between deposits managed? It will surely usually be 14 days & possibly a month before the charges are agreed. Does the new LL have no deposit at this time & how do you make a tenant increase the deposit if deductions have been made, particularly once they are already in the new property?

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    Seems the Protection Scheme is all in favour of the tenants now, just like everything else! I strongly suspect it will be us landlords picking up the tab or entering into a long drawn-out appeal to be reimbursed for damage or unpaid rent, whilst the tenant skips off to their new place!

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    Generation Rent really do need to get their agenda organised. First they want longer term security for Tenants via the abolition of s21; now they want more flexibility to make it easier for Tenants to move!
    Suggesting deposits are a barrier to moving for Tenants shows a complete lack of understanding of the need for a deposit in the first place. It is security for a Landlord held against damages, cleaning, unpaid rent etc. A show of decency and goodwill from a Tenant. Should a Tenant be allowed in to a property without this goodwill? No chance. The deposit returning process is beholden to the bureaucracy and protocols put in place to protect Tenant rights and takes time to administer. Should monies be released prior to a Tenant moving out? No chance. What would be the point of taking a deposit in the first place?
    Messing with the deposit process will do nothing other than allow the crooks to take advantage and get away with the mockery already evidenced in the deliberate exploitative non-payment of rent over the Covid pandemic that had nothing to do with ability to pay.

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    I am against roll over Deposits or any other Deposit Schemes that involves third parties.
    Which is why I have foregone £30k deposits rather than put up with those nonsense liability schemes brought into law by Shelter based on absolute porkies, now they are at it again. So Deposit property protection should be returned to pre 2007 status, before law was changed based on unsafe evidence.

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    We will simply add to the rent in order to cover for the deposit, tenant looses again



    Anyway, what is to stop us insisting on rent being paid 2 months ( or more ) in advance.

    If allowed, and life time deposits become the norm, the tenants willing and able to pay more rent upfront will get my properties - always provided they have a solvent property owning close relative as guarantor.

    Yet again, the poorer but possibly highly decent potential tenants will lose out.

    Yet again, this scheme does nothing for anyone other than rogue rent dodgers!

    Yet again, these loonies show how they harm all decent tenants whilst working to protect rogues and thieves.

  • George Dawes

    All very one way all this … one way to the destruction of the prs

    Accidentally on purpose

  • Philip Drake

    Could the time between deposits be funded by all tenants contributing about 1 extra day or week of rent to a DPS, say, roll up fund. This roll up fund is drawn from to cover the gap and then is paid back when the old deposit is released.

    . it spreads and dilutes, across all tenants, the pain of finding 5 weeks of new deposit whilst the old deposit is being considered for refund
    . Self financing by tenants for tenants
    . Is refunded when the tenant becomes a homeowner or dies.
    . Shortfalls in the fund caused by tenants not receiving the full refund of the old deposit will need to be chased by the DPS etc.

  • Philip Drake

    Surely rent tends to increase over time, therefore the deposits should tend to increase over time.
    However usually long term tenants do not have their deposits increased, if/when the rents increase. So this chasing of illusive excess deposit, will cause landlords on rent increases, to request deposits to increase. So tenants generally will lose out.

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    Phillip my friend Stop please stop, more bureaucracy, more red tape, more work load chasing our tail around from one end of the week to the other. We are hands on LL who spend our time providing and maintaining the accommodation to a good standard. We are already knee deep in paperwork, no more please. Why is everyone on about protecting the Deposit, it’s the Property that’s supposed to be protected.
    Scrap all this invented nonsense. Simple give us back our property Deposit that worked, was take away by Shelter based on a pack of lies, all I seen so far is the LL minding money for the Tenants and paying for it, all our time is considered free and endless, even the current Insurance based scheme where LL holds the money in a separate Acc’ (supposedly) costs £27.50 each to Register and carries a load of potential legal problems and may well invalidate your Agreement, also preventing you getting possession and thrown out of Court. Stop please Stop.

  • Philip Drake

    OK I’ll stop😀.

    DPS costs nothing though. Why use the Insurance method?

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    Hi Phillip good evening. Ok you collect the Deposit and hand it over to DPS a third party again so you still have no Deposit because someone else has got it, involving you in more time consuming administration where it out of your control, that’s a long way from nothing unless our time is considered
    free. Suppose a Council member of staff toddles along to a Magistrates Court for an hour or two hanging around with a couple of sheets of paper. Their costs usually to LL is several thousands of pounds, it goes to show the little value they put on our time.
    I think there’s another scheme similar to the one you mentioned equally as useless. The Insurance one MyDeposits is £27.50 or £24.50 to NRLA members but you still might
    not get the £3. discount

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    Rather than representing tenants it appears that generation rent are only concerned with causing trouble for landlords.

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    Alicia is very clever.


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