Tenant deposit protection is rigged against landlords and letting agents – while a large number of tenants are unaware of the scheme, according to a new survey.
Landlords are overwhelmingly against deposit protection – more than half (54%) claim the scheme favours tenants and more than a third (35%) consider no one benefits from the laws.
Letting agents agree with landlords, with 52% stating laws to safeguard deposits are balanced towards tenants, while 22% believe no one benefits from the red tape.
The findings come from research by inventory firm Imfuna, and are based on responses to questions about the new tenancy deposit protection rules that came in to force on April 6.
“The survey shows landlords are disenchanted with the deposit schemes. Not a single landlord surveyed felt they were designed in their favour shows that there is still some work to be done to ensure everyone involved feels they are supported in equal measure,’ said Imfuna creator, Jax Kneppers.
Awareness of the deposit schemes was highest among landlords (99%) and letting agents (88%) – but tenant knowledge was much lower, with just 43% aware of the law before starting a tenancy.
Just over a third (37% of landlords, compared to 78% of tenants, felt deposit schemes are an effective at minimising conflict between landlords and tenants.
The new laws came in to effect on April 6 and call for landlords to protect deposits within 30 days of the start of a tenancy and to supply a certificate with details about the protection scheme.
Failure to do so can mean a fine of up to three times the deposit value – and the tenant can claim compensation up to six years after moving out of a rented home.
Deposit schemes offer an arbitration process to landlords and tenants disputing the return of a deposit at the end of a tenancy.
The survey found that 26% of landlords, 26% of letting agents, and 57% of tenants believe deposit schemes provide a fair resolution to disputes.