Tenants set to benefit from nearly £2.5 million interest
tenants in England and Wales will be just under £2.5 million better
off, thanks to new compulsory tenancy deposit protection
legislation. Since 6 April 2007, every deposit-taking landlord
and letting agent in England has to use one of two tenancy deposit
protection methods, a custodial or insurance-based scheme, for any
new or updated ASTs.
According to The Deposit Protection Service (DPS), the only
Government approved custodial scheme, tenants and landlords will be
on the receiving end of £2.5 million in interest as the tenancies
currently protected by the service come to an end. The DPS
works by holding a tenant’s deposit, free of charge, for the term of
the tenancy agreement. At the end of the rental period, the deposit,
and a portion of the interest it has accumulated, is paid back to
whoever is entitled to it, tenant or landlord, depending on the
condition of the property and the terms of the rental agreement. The
remaining interest is used to fund the service. “Prior to the new legislation, it was very rare for tenants to
receive any interest on their deposits. Many landlords
and tenants were left out of pocket by either rogue landlords
failing to return deposits or rogue tenants disappearing leaving
unpaid rent. The DPS guarantees to return the deposit to the person
entitled to it, which is a win-win for everybody in the rental
sector.” said Kevin Firth,
Client Services Director for The DPS.
Reflecting on the 12 months since the legislation came into force,
Kevin states that initial take-up of the scheme has been incredibly
encouraging. “Alongside protecting deposits submitted by some 84,000
landlords, The DPS has also worked with some very large letting
agents who have acknowledged its transparency and tenants’
preference for having their deposits protected by a trusted 3rd
Out of the total £2.5 million in accumulated deposit interest, The
DPS has already returned payments of more than £200,000 following
the end of tenancies during the past 12 months. The scheme has
protected a total of approximately £185 million deposits, equating
to more than 250,000 rental agreements. The DPS has also
successfully introduced an effective dispute resolution service.
“We encourage landlords and tenants to seek mutual agreement
on the return of the deposit, but recognising that this is not
always achievable, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service
has been introduced,” Kevin says. “Feedback on
the ADR process has been very positive, with both tenants and
landlords welcoming an independent ruling on whether there is any
factual or contractual basis for retaining all or part of a tenant’s
Of the deposits protected with The DPS just 40 cases have needed to
be resolved through ADR and only 3 disputes have been resolved
through the county courts. “While we receive around 200 new registrations from landlords
and agents each day, The DPS has anecdotal evidence that there are
still a large number choosing to ignore the legislation, either by
not taking deposits or putting the deposits in their back pockets. There is simply no excuse for these
landlords burying their heads in the sand and failing to abide by
the rules, not only is it against the law, but it also means that
tenants are not receiving the protection to which they are legally
entitled. Having said that, landlords doing the right thing
are becoming extremely comfortable and familiar with the service as
they experience a few tenancies end to end.” commented
· Over the year, The DPS has protected approximately £185 million of
deposits, which equates to 250,000 deposits.
· More than £2.5 million of interest has been accrued and £200,000
paid out to either the tenant or landlord, whoever is entitled to
the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
· The number of landlords using the service is currently more than
84,000 and the number of agents is approximately 8500.
· Of the 43 cases requiring adjudication, only 3 have gone to the
County Court, whilst the DPS’ impartial adjudication service has
dealt with the rest
· Since the launch of the scheme, The DPS has received around 200
new registrations by landlords and agents each day.
Abseil down the Liver Building for arthritis charity
Liverpool are being asked to be brave this year to help arthritis
sufferers. Medical research charity, the Arthritis Research Campaign
(ARC) is organising an exclusive 200-foot abseil down the north face
of the city's Royal Liver Building on the weekend of 21 June to 22
ARC is looking for more than a hundred daredevils to take part
and help raise funds for vital research, much of which is taking
place on the doorstep in Liverpool.
arc’s area appeals manager, Ruth Owen, who is organising the event,
has been impressed with the response received to date:- “We
have promoted the abseil in a limited number of places so far and
have already received great interest.
I’m sure the limited number of
places we can offer will be snapped up quickly so we will have to
allocate places on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
is a great opportunity to abseil down one of Liverpool’s, or for
that matter, Britain’s, most famous and iconic landmarks.
very privileged to be able to offer such an exciting event this year
and are very grateful to the Royal Liver Group for their support in
agreeing to the abseil.”
including a free information pack on the abseil, can be obtained
from Ruth by phoning 01492 518760 and on 07736 157800, or by
Abseilers are being asked to raise just £200 each in sponsorship in
support of the charity.
All profits will be invested in arc’s
research and programme into all forms of arthritis, including almost
£1m supporting research at the University of Liverpool and
University Hospital, Aintree in Fazakerley.
The Royal Liver Building abseil is just one of a number of events
organised by arc.
Further information on less daring events are
obtainable from Ruth, who is also looking for people to walk for arc
in this year’s Wirral Coastal Walk on Sunday, 18 May 2008.