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Campaigning agent renews attack on pro-deposit operators

Ajay Jagota, the north east agent known for his campaign against rental deposits, says recent initiatives by two deposit protection services suggest that the lettings establishment knows ‘the game is up’.

Jagota - who also runs deposit-replacement insurance service Dlighted - says the Deposit Protection Service’s recent advice to customers to switch their deposits to a custodial scheme marked something of a ‘deathbed conversion’; he is also cynical of a move announced last week where the Tenancy Deposit Service has formed a partnership with new deposit-replacement insurance firm Zero Deposit. 

“Taken together these bits of news are definitive and decisive proof that the deposit establishment knows the game is up. I welcome the DPS’ unspoken admission that insurance tenancy deposit schemes are unsustainable and indefensible. I can’t interpret their actions as anything other than them waving the white flag and preparing for the end the insurance model” he says.

“I also welcome the TDS’ apparent deathbed conversion to deposit-free renting” he adds. 

However, he says that even with the alternatives adopted by the protection services “many of the shortcomings of the traditional deposit protection scheme system remain in place, not least the retention of and reliance on an old-fashioned dispute resolution service.”

He says he welcomes this competition “but I can’t help having the suspicion that this is the equivalent of slapping a spoiler on an old banger and claiming it’s a supercar”. 

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Not an unjustified assumption to make given recent media stories- but as well as investing in Zero Deposit they have also helped us develop (and investment discussions are also at advanced stages) for our platform- The Depositary. This platform (now in beta) sits alongside the effectove legislation already in place but streamlines it- bringing automation to agents and transparency & 24/7 access to tenants to progress their file.
    Until the government announces the exact framework of the lettings fee ban no one knows what the future holds. If all fees to tenants are, in fact, banned you have to ask how many Landlords will be will to pay for an alternate product instead of their tenants paying. This could be the death-knell for such products before the sector has attained any reasonable market share.

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