By Kubra Yelkenci
Shelter`s campaign for protecting tenants’ deposits from unscrupulous landlords has finally paid off. The Housing Act 2004 changed the way tenants’ deposits are handled.
Kate Parker from Housing and Homelessness Charity, Shelter explained the latest rules and said: “Landlords must hand over the deposit to one of the government-authorised tenancy deposit schemes. Literally within 14 days of receiving it. This is now a legal requirement.”
Ms.Parker figured out that schemes are completely independent of the landlord, so any disputes will be settled fairly. And she continued “If the landlord refuses to comply, the courts will be able to order him/her to give the deposit back, pay it into an appropriate scheme, and/or pay to the tenant three times its value.”
According to mydeposit.co.uk, a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme, tenants were losing thousands of pounds each month by not following to tenancy agreements.
A Southampton student Kaan Baseskioglu, explained how he lost his deposit last year and said “When I moved in I pointed a crack on the window. However, when I was leaving, my landlord cut my £260 deposit off because of this crack and I couldn`t do anything.”
A Bournemouth resident, Alfredo Silva said he lost his deposit because of leaving house 4 months before the termination date of the tenancy agreement. “I even didn`t know how to protect my deposit at that time.”
Regarding latest regulations Marketing Manager of The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) Lucy Newcombe gave some advice for tenants and said: “My simple advice is: Always ask for evidence on how your deposit is protected, and know that you are entitled to formal evidence that protection has taken place.” DPS is a free to use deposit registration services which is open to all landlords and letting agents.
Estate Agent from Burns Lettings Kaylee Bradley, 29, pointed out where the letting agents stand in this new regulation and said: “As a letting agency we can demand a deposit but the estate agent should not hold a deposit or any other money unless they are covered by adequate insurance.”