Lettings Agents and Corporate Landlords Boost

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is showing considerable growth in the number of tenancies covered and amount of money that is now safeguarded. The scheme is one of the three government authorised deposit protection schemes. Its core membership is among lettings agents and corporate landlords.

In just three months from mid-October to mid-January, the value of protected deposits has risen from nearly £300 million to close on £400 million.

In the same period, the number of tenants and tenancies covered both rose by 39%, to encompass 596,343 tenants in 391,790 tenancies. The number of landlords joined to the scheme rose by more than a third, from 217,134 to 293,487.

Commented Chief Executive, Lawrence Greenberg, “This is a huge growth in the number of tenancies and the amount of the deposit money covered by our scheme. It reflects a much greater understanding of the legal obligations on landlords. This is in addition to the number of tenancies coming on stream or being renewed. It also reflects the simplicity of the scheme. It requires no effort by landlords or tenants who use lettings agents who are members of the scheme.”

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To capitalise on its success, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is launching an improved web site for users together with step-by-step on-line advice at the Annual Conference of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, next month.

“Although the Tenancy Deposit Scheme had its genesis nearly four years ago when it was launched by the professional bodies in the lettings industry, ARLA, NAEA and RICS, we have had a huge influx of agents joining since last April, when deposit protection became mandatory,” Lawrence Greenberg explained.

“As a result of this, we have listened carefully and continue to work hard to make our entire operation user-friendly. We have also made the members’ section of the website suitable for in-house training for staff in lettings agents’ offices.”

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme has some 5,000 member offices and corporate landlords and it is believed that it is owing to their help that there has been such a substantial improvement in the understanding of the legal obligations and practical requirements of deposit protection.

Although it was only implemented last April, the Housing Act 2004 made it a mandatory requirement that all Assured Shorthold Tenancies are registered with an authorised deposit protection scheme. Assured Shorthold Tenancies are the lettings industry standard agreement for tenancies with a rental value below £25,000 a year.

Details of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme are available on www.tenancydepositscheme.com

22 January 2008

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