The average renters deposit in the in the UK is £670, but many consumers do not have this desposit protected. This is despite the fact that it is a legal requirement for landlors to ensure that a tenants’ deposit is financially protected.
Almost a third of tenants are not covered by Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), according to research by LV=. The main reasons that many tenantss go unprotected is because of the lack of awareness around the scheme.
During the poll, over half of those who lived in rented accomodation were unaware of Tenancy Deposit Protection and it’s pupose. This is very worrying in a time when many are suffering from debt management problems and cannot afford to lose this deposit.
John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= comments: “This research highlights the need for the Government to raise the profile of this legislation and for it to be more strictly enforced, to protect both renters and landlords, as awareness is currently very low.”
What is Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP)?
The Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme was introduced in April 2007 to ensure that a tenant’s deposit is not wrongly witheld at the end of the tenancy agreement. As part of Tenancy Deposit Protection, landlords must sign up to one of two schemes run by Government approved financial companies:
- Insurance Scheme: The landlord keeps the renter’s deposit and pays a premium to an insurer. The insurer will return the money to the tenant if the landlord does not comply with the adjudicated outcome of any tenancy dispute.
- Custodial Scheme: The landlord pays the deposit to the Custodial Scheme for safekeeping and, if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, an independent adjudication will decide who receives the deposit money.
Ensure your Rent Deposit Return
Although tenants should be aware of the Tenancy Deposit Protection, it is also essential that you personally increase the chance of having your renters deposit returned. Such as taking note of the following suggestions:
- Check the Inventory: When you first move in to a furnished property, your landlord will give you an inventory of the items which are already in the property. Check this careful and report any discrepancies to your lanlord.
- Check for Damage: When you first move into the property, check to see if there is any exisitng damage, such as burns on the carpet or cracks in the wall. Make a note of everything you find and report these to your landlord who will confirm if the damage already exists.
- Insurance: It makes good sense to have some form of insurance, such as a home contents insurance policy which contains cover for accidental damage.
- Moving Out: Ensure that the property is fully cleaned before your hand back your keys. Although landlords will expect some wear and tear to the property, they could charge you if they have to have it professional cleaned and this money will come from your renters deposit.
Remember that the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme has been put in place to help all renters. If you are in any doubt of the regulation then please speak to your landlord who should be able to offer you further information about their involvement in the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme.