Research carried out by comparison website, ComparetheMarket.com, reveals that up to one-third of landlords, affecting something like 1.5 million tenants, could be ignoring their legal obligations to protect tenancy deposits in an approved Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS).
The price comparison website with the legendary Meerkats says, “Over 1.5 million renters across the UK could be at risk of losing their deposits”, stating that one third (33%) of renters know that their landlord has not placed their money into a Government-backed deposit protection scheme. A further third (35%) of renters do not know the whereabouts of their down payment, the holding deposit.
Even more surprising is the claim that around 20% of landlords fail to issue any form of written tenancy agreement for their tenancies, leaving themselves and the tenant in a sticky position should there be a need to rely on the legal system. There would be no means of easily proving when the tenancy started, what the contractual rent amount is, and any Section 21 notice served would be invalid.
- One third (33%) of renters say that their landlords have not put their money into a deposit protection scheme.
- Almost one fifth (19%) of UK tenants do not have a contractual agreement with their landlord.
- Renters are significantly underinsured as over one third (36%) don’t have contents insurance.
- Younger demographics are worst affected as half (46%) of 18-34 year olds don’t have contents insurance.
It is still commonplace for landlords to arbitrarily deduct money from their tenant’s deposits when they leave, with the research indicating that this happens in around 18% of cases.
Other findings conclude that:
- One third (30%) of landlords are slow to respond when a problem needs fixing.
- 12% of the tenants surveyed claim that they have to make repeated efforts before receiving a response.
- 9% of tenants said that it can take between a fortnight and a month for an issue at their property to be resolved. However, says the report, in some of these cases the landlord is not always at fault.
- Barriers to access could account for many of these problems, as over one in ten (14%) of tenants go through a letting agency in order to contact their landlord.
The research shows, however, that the faults are not all one way. Tenants also often neglect their duties, including not allowing access or making poor arrangements for this, and not insuring their own possessions.
More than 36% of tenants do not have any form of contents insurance. Young people in particular are the least likely to take out any form of insurance, with almost half 18-34 year-olds failing to take out a tenant’s contents insurance policy.
There are more strict legal requirements needed when letting a property if landlords are to avoid trouble – see the New Section 21 Rules
See our letting checklists here- https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/documents©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies primarily to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice.