An online petition urging MPs to make it compulsory for privately let properties to be subject to independent inventory reporting is nearing the 1,000 signature mark.
The petition has been lodged on the official parliamentary website by Danny Zane, joint chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, which is campaigning for greater regulation on the issue.
The petition cites a survey by interiors firm Hillarys which suggests that of 2,500 tenants questioned, one third admitted having their deposit withheld and 68 per cent believed their landlord didn’t provide good enough reason for doing so.
It also quotes a claim by personal finance website Money that 40 per cent of students lose well over a third of their deposit when they rent privately, while 79 per cent do not sign a photo inventory when they move in.
“Please support this petition and help us make the letting process more transparent for all” says Zane, who has previously appealed to agents and landlords to back the call.
The petition is available online until April 30; if it secures 10,000 signatures it will trigger an official government response, typically in the form of a letter from a minister, while if it secures 100,000 signatures it will probably lead to a debate on the issue amongst MPs.
Those signing the petition are also invited to participate in the current investigations into the private rental sector and so-called ‘rogue landlords’ being carried out by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
These MPs - whose deliberations have been reported in Letting Agent Today in recent weeks - are looking at, amongst other things, how letting agents have dealt with any complaints lodged by tenants, the support to private tenants coming from councils, and a call for suggestions for greater protection for renters against unreasonable landlords.