“What About My Deposit?”

One of the greatest areas of dispute in Lettings is the issue of deposits and their return at the end of a Tenancy. An unscrupulous Landlord could claim that minor damages justify the non-return of the deposit, which usually amounts to between four and six weeks’ rent.

However, tenancy deposit protection legislation was introduced in 2007 and any deposit received in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for rents up to £25,000 a year should be processed through a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. Deposits held in such a scheme are effectively held in trust by the Agent (or their insurers), not the Landlord. They are only released back to the Tenant at the end of the tenancy subject to agreement by both parties that a) the Tenant’s rent is up to date, and b) that the property is in reasonable condition. Should there be any dispute, then the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s arbitration service should quickly be able to facilitate an agreement.

This is just one of many pieces of legislation affecting Landlords, hence the reason why it is not advisable to rent your property without the advice of a professional lettings agency such as ourselves to help you along the way.

It is likely that more regulation is on the cards, and there has already been discussion in Parliament about the possibility of licensing not only lettings agents, but also the Landlords they serve. As the UK embraces letting as an increasingly popular form of residency, we would certainly support such regulation in the name of professionalism, and for the protection of Landlords and Tenants alike.

Neil Newstead,FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents