12:55 PM, 19th April 2012, About 10 years ago
Deposit protection keeper Steve Harriott is promoting a love-in between landlords and tenants over the myth that they are constantly at war over money.
After five years of tenancy deposit protection laws, only 1% of tenancies have issues over the return of deposits at the end of an agreement, revealed Harriott, chief executive of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
To put the figure in to perspective, around 2.36 million deposit are on protection at any one time, according to official statistics from the Communities and Local Government Department.
The causes of disputes have remained constant, says Harriott – half involve cleaning, between a third and a half are about damage and a quarter involve redecoration.
“No longer is it automatically believed that private sector landlords will regard the deposits they hold as part of the rent, nor that tenants will withhold the last rent payments for fear of not getting their deposits back. And, both landlords and agents have become much better at managing disputes at the end of a tenancy,” said Harriott, speaking at the Property Business Show, in London.
He also disclosed that new schemes may enter the market and the two insurance-backed schemes, TDS and MyDeposits are in talks with the government to renew their contracts.
Harriott also warned some Scottish letting agents may face financial difficulties when tenant deposit protection laws come in to force north of the border in the summer as they may have spent the cash they should be holding.
“In Scotland – as in England – there has been no requirement to keep deposits in a client account and almost certainly some of this money may no longer be readily available.,” he said.
“When the requirement comes to transfer deposits to one of the deposit protection schemes, some letting agents may find themselves in difficulty.”
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