The average rental deposit paid by tenants fell by 10% during the lockdown months of March, April and May compared with the same three-month period in 2019.

Deposits held by Hamilton Fraser’s Government-authorised scheme mydeposits dropped from £1,348 to £1,218 in England and Wales. However, while the first national lockdown put a halt on moving into new properties, there’s evidence to suggest that deposit prices were falling anyway.

In May, Ome reported that the average deposit price in the UK had fallen for the first time in five years, down by 3% from an average of £1,338 in 2018 to £1,299 in December 2019.

Its co-founder Matthew Hooker says there’s still huge uncertainty around the future of the housing market for both homeowners and renters.

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“For renters though, this uncertainty and the potential financial disturbance of the coronavirus pandemic could be making it especially difficult to fork out for an upfront deposit right now,” says Hooker.

“With our deposit replacement scheme, renters pay a small monthly fee for flexible renting.

“The pandemic has certainly caused cash flow issues for many, and even if deposit prices are falling as a result of the crisis, these large cash sums are often still unattainable, therefore Ome offers a modern alternative.”

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