TDS - Fairer Subscriptions on the Way

Invoices being issued from this week to lettings agents who are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will show the effect of the new charging system first announced last autumn.

Following a detailed analysis of the usage of the Scheme and its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services, significant discounting has been possible. 85% of all letting agents who are members of the TDS will be charged the lowest rates that are available through insured deposit protection schemes.

For the coming year, 2010/11, minimum annual subscriptions for letting agents have been increased from £583 to £750.

A third of the TDS membership has had their charges set at the new minimum. Only 12% of firms have been subject to any loading as a result of their high volumes of dispute referral. For those receiving a maximum discount, the average charge for a tenancy will be £10 or less.

Said John Hornsey, Chairman of The Dispute Service, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme: "Alarm bells rang last autumn but, in fact, they were set off by a small number of agents making disproportionate use of our ADR. Now we have evolved a much fairer charging system that takes full account of the way agents use the system, both in terms of the tenancies they protect and the disputes they prompt."

To help members with the transition to the new arrangements, all new subscriptions for the year 2010/11 are being charged in two instalments. The second invoice, which will be issued in the summer, will take account of all changes to registered tenancies and any revision that can be made as a result of the numbers of disputes submitted.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme believes that it is up to members, in their own interests, to ensure they have control mechanisms in place to stop unnecessary referrals for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Concluded John Hornsey, "We are confident that the new TDS fee structure is fairer. It takes full account of the way the system is used and remains very competitive for letting agents."

18th January 2010

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