First Choice TDS Offers Most Cost-efficient Service - Letting Agents Told

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme, TDS, is on a firm financial footing and will continue to offer the most cost-efficient deposit protection for agents and their landlords. This was the message brought to the ARLA Advisory Forum today.

TDS Chairman Professor Martin Partington told the representatives of the Scheme's largest group of members that he and new Chief Executive Steve Harriott aim to create a partnership with them that makes the Scheme first choice for deposit protection for professional lettings agents, their landlords and their tenants.

"To build this partnership we will remain competitive, be cost-effective and listen to the concerns of agents. To this end we will make no additional charges during the second half of this financial year for registering tenancies under the new £100,000 threshold for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and the Steering Group to establish a Members' User Forum will be meeting within weeks. At the first meeting, the Group will concentrate on some proposed changes to the Scheme's rules to deal with time limits for raising disputes," announced Professor Partington.

The Scheme's rules are currently being amended to take account of the new AST thresholds.

Professor Partington said that the Scheme has always prided itself on the quality of the disputes service. In addition, TDS is achieving an excellent performance in turning around adjudications quickly and producing judgements that are fair and reasonable.

"However, we shall be working with agents, landlords and tenants over the coming months to assess what both sides of the coin really think of our disputes services and we will be feeding the results of this assessment back to the members."

"This is in line with the commitment that I made on my appointment as Chairman," Professor Partington continued. "TDS will be more transparent with its members. We are committed to improving our openness and accountability to you and I hope we have already been seen to do this. We also want to hear from members on how we can improve our business and we need to get better at explaining what we are doing and why," he added.

The meeting was told that the TDS will be raising its profile through newsletters, attending conferences, member briefings and training sessions and improving the website.

Professor Partington introduced Chief Executive Steve Harriott to the meeting. Mr Harriott said, "On this, my second day at TDS, I would like to reiterate that our aim is to be the first choice for deposit protection because we offer real value for money, excellent customer services and an effective and fair adjudication service. I am looking forward to getting around and meeting agents to discuss how we can help each other to this end."

28th September 2010

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