A Government initiative to protect tenants from losing tenancy deposits unfairly has changed relations between landlords and tenants dramatically, according to a leading sector expert, and it is all for the better.
Steve Harriot, head of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), one of just two insured tenancy deposit protection schemes in England, believes Government legislation to introduce mandatory tenancy deposit protection has brought greater trust between landlords and their tenants. According to figures only 1% of tenancy deposit agreements now end in dispute since the introduction of the scheme 5 years ago and today when Mr Harriot addresses delegates at the Property Business Show he will say: “For many years the industry was beset with deposit disputes. However, no longer is it automatically believed that private sector landlords will regard the deposits they hold as part of the rent, nor that tenants will withhold the last rent payments for fear of not getting their deposits back. And, both landlords and agents have become much better at managing disputes at the end of a tenancy.”
Certainly landlords in the past have often claimed on landlord insurance policies when disgruntled tenants have caused damage in the last few days of their tenure due to disputes over rent and deposits. A better understanding between tenant and landlord will put an end to the “Us and Them” culture which has dogged the sector for many years and the latest figures show that over 2 million tenants now have their deposits secured in authorised schemes. It is expected that more companies apart from TDS and My Deposits will be allowed to bid when contracts are up for renewal and that the Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme will be extended to take in more cases.