Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) – more needs to be done

 In Property

Recent research has indicated that around 300,000 landlords are estimated to be not placing tenant deposits into a government-backed scheme. This is despite a government crackdown last June that could mean landlords facing the risk of a heavy fine.

A report by the Centre of Economics Business Research shows a total of £514 million worth of deposits are believed not to be in one of the three government backed schemes.

This is a real failure of the scheme designed to protect both tenants and landlords and more needs to be done by the government to ensure that all tenancy deposits are protected.

These government-backed deposit schemes are the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits, and the Tenancy Deposit Service.

In April 2007 the requirement to protect a tenancy deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales was introduced following its inclusion in the Housing Act 2004.

It was recognised that many deposits were being unfairly withheld at the end of a tenancy, so the introduction of scheme was a way of raising the standards in the letting industry and more importantly to ensure tenants are treated fairly at the end of a tenancy.

All the recommended tenant deposit schemes offer an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service which means that if tenants and landlords cannot agree on how much should be deducted from a deposit then the impartial adjudicators system uses evidence-based resolution that is binding by both parties – ultimately both landlord and tenant have protection. These schemes are free of charge.

For Landlords, aside from the potential fines that can be imposed by a Court, failure to protect a deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme also means that if they seek possession of their property by the accelerated procedure using a Section 21 notice then the request is likely to fail.

Oakwood Solicitors offers landlord’s a tailored service, depending on the type of possession the landlord requires – from pre litigation to serving Section 8 and Section 21 notices to instructing enforcement in relation to eviction and repossession.

For further details, please contact us at possessions@oakwoodsolicitors.co.uk

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