Complaints balloon about tenancy deposits, says Shelter
Thursday 28th June 2012
Shelter says that calls to its helpline from private tenants with concerns about how their deposits are being protected have ballooned by more than 80% in the last two years.
The charity says the average deposit needed to move into a privately rented home is £979, and that having a deposit withheld when a tenancy ends can push people into debt and make it difficult for them to move to another property without the money for a new deposit.
Landlords who fail to place their tenants’ deposit in one of three authorised schemes within 30 days of a tenancy starting can be taken to court. They could face a penalty of one to three times the value of the deposit, which is then awarded to the tenant.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “It is extremely worrying that we have seen such a huge rise in problems with tenancy deposits at a time when privately renting is no longer just a stepping stone to something better, but a long-term reality for more and more families.
“While we know that most landlords do the right thing, some cause absolute misery for their tenants, accusing them of owing thousands of pounds for damage that doesn’t exist, or falsely claiming to have protected their deposit and then never returning it.”
Shelter is urging all tenants to make sure their deposit is protected by using its three-minute online checker.
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