A brand new survey of over 1,000 Britons involved in the UK private rental sector has found a staggering and worrying lack of knowledge when it comes to deposit laws and tenants’ rights.
As part of the Housing Act 2004, landlords in England and Wales are legally required to protect Assured Shorthold Tenancy deposits in a Government-approved scheme and, if they don’t, they could be liable to pay the tenant up to three times the amount of the original deposit plus the deposit amount.
Rose Jinks, the Spokesperson for Just Landlords, says: “It’s shocking that so few people understand their rights when it comes to tenancy deposits, especially as more people than ever rent from a private landlord. We believe that the companies currently seeking PPI compensation for consumers may turn to unclaimed tenancy deposits when the deadline comes into force in August next year.”
She adds: “Tenants may find that they could claim back three times their deposit, plus the original deposit amount if their landlord didn’t comply with the law, while landlords could be faced with a significant bill. We urge all of those in the private rental sector to understand their rights and responsibilities surrounding tenancy deposits.”
WHAT IS TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION
Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with:
Deposit Protection Service
MyDeposits – including deposits that were held by Capita
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
At the end of your tenancy, your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it. Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.