Tenancy Deposit Scheme Approaches the Billion Pound Mark

At the approach of the second anniversary of mandatory tenancy deposit protection next week (on Monday April 6), the Tenancy Deposit Scheme reports that it is protecting over £800 million pounds in tenants deposits, an increase of a quarter of a billion pounds in less than 12 months.

These deposits cover against damage and dilapidations in over 800,000 tenancies housing 1.25 million tenants. The average amount of the deposits is just short of £1,000 for each tenancy.

The figures show that the Tenancy Deposit Scheme safeguards close on half of all Assured Shorthold Tenancies current in the private rented sector. These tenancies are in properties owned by some 600,000 landlords and arranged through 5,000 letting agents' offices, as well as by corporate landlords who are members of the scheme.

Inevitably, the number of deposit disputes going to Alternative Dispute Resolution has also risen, with some 6,000 disputes handled in 2008/09.

Said Lawrence Greenberg, Chief Executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, "Together, all three deposit protection schemes authorised by government have put the message across to the public about the merits of deposit protection. For us, too, there has been a learning curve and we have endeavoured to make everything user-friendly for our members and easy for the public to understand."

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme begins the third year of mandatory protection with two new appointments, Debra Rymer has joined as Chief Operating Officer to take over many of the responsibilities for running the business. This will free up the Chief Executive to maximise the systems, applications and benefits of dispute resolution.

In addition, from this month, the newly appointed Outreach Manager, Helen McCarthy, will be liaising with lettings agents and helping them with problems they may have in making the best use of the Scheme. Additional Casework Scrutiny Managers and adjudicators are top be appointed during the next few months.

Said Lawrence Greenberg, "Although our experience with deposit protection goes back many years before mandatory protection came into being, the additional workload and the increase in public awareness has led us to develop a much more sophisticated approach to this vital element of consumer protection for the rental market."

3rd April 2009

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