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Is your rental deposit safe in the hands of a protection scheme?

We at Belvoir Wirral are amazed at how few Landlords and Tenants are actually aware of any legisl...

We at Belvoir Wirral are amazed at how few Landlords and Tenants are actually aware of any legislation regarding deposits. All our managed deposits are registered with The Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

According to a new report from the Cebr, 15% of landlords are sitting on £514m of unprotected deposits.

Despite government intervention to make it a legal requirement for landlords to protect renters’ deposits in one of the government backed schemes, new research carried out on behalf of financial comparison website money.co.uk by the Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research) reveals that 284,000 landlords have failed to do so. Research estimates that these landlords are sitting on £514 million of deposits that should be protected by an official third party service.

What is deposit protection?

It is mandatory for all landlords to protect deposits for assured shorthold tenancies via a government backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt. They must also give tenants prescribed information about where their deposit is protected, who they are renting from and how they raise a dispute. Different approved deposit schemes are used in England and Wales to Scotland and Northern Ireland but they all operate in a similar way. The schemes give landlords and tenants access to a free dispute resolution service if things go wrong when the tenant moves out, eliminating the need for court action in many cases.

The government imposed deposit protection schemes to stop landlords unfairly taking money out of deposits for things such as wear and tear or pre-existing damage when tenants move on. With this protection in place, an alternative dispute resolution scheme will step in and assess the case and make sure any money held back by the landlord is a fair deal for both the tenant and the landlord.

However, compliance with these rules are not being monitored effectively and the onus to report and take action against the landlord lies with the tenant. For tenants who cannot get their landlord to place their deposit with one of the schemes, money.co.uk’s ‘taking your landlord to court’ guide should help.

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