There's never been a more important time to take notice of deposit protection

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There’s never been a more important time to take notice of deposit protection.

Disputes over deposits at the end of a tenancy can be an ordeal for both landlords and tenants. Even if all contracts are in order and inventories logged, disagreements can arise. At best these can result in frosty exchanges between landlord and tenant, and at worst can leave one or other party substantially out of pocket.

More tenants than ever are coming to Shelter with issues about deposits. Calls to Shelter’s housing helpline about deposit issues have rocketed by over 80% in the last two years and now account for one in every twenty calls. There’s never been a more important time to sit up and take notice of deposit protection. With the average deposit on a privately rented home now £979 (DCLG figures) there’s a lot of money at stake, particularly at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet. Both sides being clued up about deposit protection is the best way for both landlords and tenants to avoid disputes with one another.   

Given the benefits of deposit protection schemes, Shelter is keen to make both landlords and tenants aware of their rights and responsibilities. The charity has launched a new deposit checker to help tenants make sure their money is safe, and is also providing guidance for landlords on best practice.
With help from campaigning by Shelter, rules on te

nancy deposits have been improved, providing benefits for both landlords and tenants. In landlords’ favour, the period in which a deposit must be protected has been increased from just 14 to 30 days following the start of the tenancy. In tenants’ favour, the penalties remain for those landlords who don’t fulfil their duties. Landlords who don’t protect their tenants’ deposits within 30 days can now be eligible for charges of up to three times the value of the deposit.

If you’re a landlord, make sure you do the right thing and protect your tenant’s deposit.
Landlords can find more information on Shelter’s deposit protection campaign here: 

Posted by Emily Shipp, Shelter on 19 July 2012

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