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Anger at possible government U-turn on tenant deposit cap

There has been widespread Industry anger at news of a possible U-turn by the government over the proposed cap on security deposits. 

The Sun newspaper has suggested that the government will reverse a decision to cap tenancy deposits in rented housing at six weeks and reduce this to five.

In May this year the government defended its decision to cap deposits at six weeks rent. 


Responding to a recommendation from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee to reduce it to five weeks, the government said: “We are not accepting this recommendation. We share the Committee’s desire to improving affordability and fairness in the private rented sector and have considered their recommendation carefully. A deposit of six weeks’ rent will be an upper limit and not a guideline. There is a balance that must be struck between providing tenants with greater affordability whilst ensuring landlords have adequate financial security for their assets.”

The Sun suggests the government has now gone back on that statement.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, has led industry anger at the suggestion. He says: “If this is true, landlords will feel badly let down by a government which says it wants to support good landlords. The government had accepted that a cap of six weeks was the minimum many landlords required. This is needed to address the problem of tenants who fail to pay the last month's rent and leave a property damaged. 

“Ministers claim that they want to cut the cost of renting yet this is another measure the government is taking that will further cut the number of landlords and properties available as demand continues to rise, so actually driving up rents up.”

And Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association says: “A six-week cap is the lowest landlords find acceptable.

“Does the government really not realise that if landlords don’t think the deposit covers the risk of damage or unpaid rent, they will be even more cautious about who they let to? All this will do is make it harder for tenants with poor credit ratings or who want to have a pet to find a suitable home.

“This is clearly a political move aimed at the renters’ vote. It is not a policy for business.”

  • Paul Singleton

    We ask for a slightly larger bond if the tenants have dogs for potential carpet cleaning etc. No more tenants with pets come next year!

  • icon

    The government has no idea about renting property.
    I invited you the government or a representative to spend a couple of weeks with me in the real world to see what it is like.

  • Andrew Hill

    Our response to 5 week deposit cap is to add a bit onto the rent. In a 6month AST, we're looking at 26 weeks so, if the rent is 750pcm and we divide it by 26, we'd only need to add £28pcm to the rent to generate one month extra rent over the period, this will allow us and our client to mitigate the increased risk of being forced to take a 5 week deposit instead of six.

    If the tenant stays on for another term, it's just profit for our clients and us.
    This is how we're dealing with the increased costs and increased risks for little reward. We sent several emails to the government explaining that this would happen but nope, they think us increasing rents to mitggate risks and cover increasing costs will actually save tenants money(?)

    This is the world we live in though, where government ministers can't understand basic logic. Increased rents = tenants paying more in rent instead of deposit or tenant fees = not saving tenants money in the long run.

    S l
    • S l
    • 09 December 2018 09:26 AM

    the tenants apparently are more willing to pay towards rent than to deposit. they decide if they are up for paying a certain price for a room plus bills. often find tenant refused to pay more than one month rent as deposit as prs unless they go through letting agent where they pay whatever the letting agent says. plus they pay extra fees to letting agents. it just doesnt make sense

  • Rob  Davies

    Wouldn't believe anything written in The Sun. Probably from one of their infamous insider 'sources'.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 04 December 2018 10:40 AM

    The cap on 6 weeks rent as deposit does not protect landlord considerering they can't evict tenants until they are 2 months in arrears. Theseo politician shouldn't make rules if they are not legally knowledgeable. Same thing with allowing local authority to have power to impose n sue landlord with criminal convictions over business issues

  • icon

    Why can the goverment see the fees charged by agents which so called is making it too expensive to rent, however why can they not see it's more expensive to buy a house with the fees the Solicitors charge surely it's a better idea for the government to try to get people on the property market rather than rent. Loads of people can and should be able to buy a house if the deposit went back to 0% and the Solicitors fees were capped off as these could vary from £800 to 3000, it just dont make sence.
    P.s. these regulations are being made in consideration of London and not the rest of the UK for e.g fees are extortionate in London and up North they start from £50 rents are extortionate in London but up north they start from £55per week so the point I'm making is why not make a rule that helps the UK and not only London


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