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Deposit Protection Service exposes housing rent 'lottery'

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Deposit Protection Service exposes housing rent 'lottery'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments

Deposit Protection Service exposes housing rent 'lottery' Deposit Protection Service exposes housing rent 'lottery'

Renting in London is five times more expensive than the nation’s cheapest locations, newly published research has found.

The most expensive areas in England and Wales, measured by the average deposit demanded by landlords, are all in the nation’s capital.

Westminster is the most expensive borough with the average deposit costing £1,909, according to statistics from The Deposit Protection Service.

The research is based on the average size of deposit in geographical areas, broken down by local authority.

Westminster is followed in the league table by City of London (£1,815), Islington (£1,535), Tower Hamlets (£1,478) and Kensington and Chelsea (£1,463).

In contrast, tenants in Tony Blair’s old constituency home Sedgefield – the cheapest place to rent in England and Wales – pay an average deposit of just £345 – less than a fifth of those at the top of the rental tree.

The top 10 most expensive areas to rent in are all in the South, while all but one of the cheapest areas to rent is in the North. South Hams, in Devon, is the cheapest place in the South of England to rent, with an average deposit of £400.

Kevin Firth, Director of The Deposit Protection Service, said: “Our figures clearly demonstrate that there is a vast difference in rental values across the UK, and a North – South divide is very much evident.

“However, no matter where a deposit is handed to a landlord, and regardless of the size of that deposit – landlords in England and Wales are legally bound to protect it.

“Landlords from Sedgefield to Westminster must be sure to comply with tenancy deposit legislation, if they want to avoid a hefty fine. If tenants haven’t received notification of deposit protection, they should check with their landlord that their deposits are safe. The DPS sends confirmation of a protected deposit direct to the tenant.”

Since 6 April 2007, every deposit-taking landlord and letting agent in England has to use one of two tenancy deposit protection methods: a custodial or insurance based scheme, for any new or updated tenancies.

However, recent research by The Deposit Protection Service found that 62 per cent of landlords are failing to comply with the law.

The DPS works by holding a tenant’s deposit, free of charge, for the term of the tenancy agreement. At the end of the rental period, the deposit, and a portion of the interest it has accumulated, is paid back to whoever is entitled to it. The remaining interest is used to fund the service.

Since launch, The DPS has already returned in excess of £52 million of deposits, as well as interest payments of more than £655,000.

Under the legislation, landlords who fail to register a deposit face being fined up to three times the value of the deposit and losing their eviction rights.

Ten most expensive rental areas by local authority

1. Westminster
2. City of London
3. Islington               
4. Tower Hamlets    
5. Kensington and Chelsea   
6. Tandridge             
7. Wandsworth          
8. South Buckinghamshire   
9. Richmond upon Thames 
10. Camden             

Ten least expensive rental areas by local authority

1. Sedgefield           
2. Hartlepool           
3. Lancaster           
4. Easington           
5. South Ribble           
6. Kingston upon Hull       
7. Wear Valley           
8. Middlesbrough       
9. South Hams          
10. Berwick upon Tweed


 

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