Tenants fail to check fate of their deposits
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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According to new research from flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk, more than half of tenants (53%) admit they never check if landlords put their deposits in mandatory tenancy deposit schemes.
Worse, 47% of tenants believe their current landlord has not put their deposit in a scheme.
And 16% of tenants have never heard of the tenancy deposit scheme. Only 27% of SpareRoom.co.uk users know their landlords are definitely holding their deposits in a scheme. .
The rules apply to assured shorthold tenancies - the most common form of rental agreement in the UK for flatsharers if the landlord doesn't live in the property.
More than one in eight (13%) tenants said they have submitted dispute claims through a tenancy deposit scheme. According to the survey, the outcome was almost evenly split: 48% of tenants won their claim while 52% said their landlords won the dispute.
SpareRoom.co.uk director Matt Hutchinson said: "It's easy to see why tenants who've been burnt in the past see deposits as rent top ups. You hear horror stories about the excuses landlords have found to withhold deposits when tenants move on, but there are two sides to every story.
"The rogue element of the landlord community is far smaller than most people think. The wider problem is a private rented sector dominated by amateur and accidental landlords, who don’t always know their responsibilities. But the tenancy deposit protection scheme has certainly helped establish more trust - ensuring landlords cannot profit from deposits as an additional source of income, and mediating when disputes arise."
The data is based on 1,649 responses from tenants, surveyed via the SpareRoom website in May 2014.