Eddie Hooker, CEO of mydeposits, comments on the report that claims the deposit system is “broken”
A major Which? report released today suggests the current deposit system is broken and calls for review of the current cash-based deposit system. Eddie Hooker, Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme mydeposits CEO for the last 12 years, comments in response:
“Since their introduction more than 12 years ago, Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes have consistently delivered a good service for the majority of tenants.
Whilst I recognise that the systems and processes of deposit protection may need updating to deal with today’s rental market, having carried out extensive research I do not believe that overhauling the current system in favour of, for example, no deposit insurance alternatives, offers any greater protection for tenants.
Yes, there is an affordability issue for tenants, particularly those in London having to find on average £2500, and this is an issue that must be addressed. However, purchasing an insurance policy which reimburses a landlord if the tenant cannot or will not pay any losses, simply buys the tenant out of having to pay a deposit and could place tenants is a worse situation some years down the line.
Ultimately, tenants are still liable for recompense to an insurance company which many tenants simply do not realise. The fees/premiums charged over a 10-year renting period, could end up costing the tenant £6,000-£7,000 for nothing. What many don’t understand is that deposits are refundable if the tenant abides by the terms of the tenancy agreement. Insurance premiums are not.
Any change to the current TDP system should recognise and embrace the existing benefits, such as Alternative Dispute Resolution, but be enhanced. Options such as deposit loans, custodial only schemes or deposit passporting could address affordability issues and offer tenants greater control, while continuing to give landlords the confidence to remain in the buy-to-let market.”