Tenancy deposits - They've got attitude

Tenancy Deposits - They've got attitude

The results of the first major survey into the take-up and attitudes to mandatory Tenancy Deposit Protection since its implementation were announced today (May 29) by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

The first indications show that more than a third of all tenants are aware of the introduction of tenancy deposit protection schemes and their response to the implementation is positive.

Letting agents, major opinion-formers among both landlords and tenants, are also positive about mandatory protection.

Letting agents and landlords were questioned in the survey, carried out for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme during May. It showed that landlords now have a high level of awareness of mandatory deposit protection, although substantial numbers said about the schemes in general that they either felt negative about them (37.6%), or indifferent (33.7%).

Despite this, 60% of all landlords questioned said they were joined to one of the three authorised schemes. A further quarter do not take deposits at all and, as a result, fall outside legal requirements to be joined to a scheme.

Commented Lawrence Greenberg, Chief Executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, “It is surprising and gratifying that such a high proportion of tenants are aware and positive about the benefits of tenancy deposit protection so quickly after implementation. Yet, with only a third being aware, these figures show that we still have a long way to go to get the message across to those who will benefit the most.”

Turning to the education of landlords, Mr Greenberg said, “There are still large numbers who we must presume are breaking the law because they still have to grasp the fact that tenancy deposit protection is mandatory.”

The survey showed that letting agents have a very clear preference for the continuity offered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. For three years it ran on a voluntary basis with the support of the three professional bodies for the rental sector, ARLA, the NAEA and RICS, before deposit protection became mandatory on 6 April this year.

To date 5,380 letting offices have declared for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which already covers £37 million in tenants’ deposits. It is believed that this is the scheme that continues to make a major impact on deposit protection in the agency sector of the rental market.

For details of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme visit www.thedisputeservice.co.uk or ring 0845 226 7833

Ends

Editor’s Note. 241 residential landlords and 463 letting agents responded to the survey which was carried out between May 1 and May 18.

29 May 2007

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