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Our industry is losing £61m pcm, says campaigning agent

Letting agents and landlords could be missing out on £61m of rent every month because families in temporary and emergency accommodation may not be able to afford deposits to rent privately.

Ajay Jagota - head of the #ditchthedeposit campaign and founder of deposit-free renting initiative Dlighted - says official figures show the number of families living in temporary accommodation has risen by 500 per cent since 2009.

This means there are 78,930 families – including 120,510 children – currently living in emergency housing, he says.


Jagota says some £845m of taxpayers’ money has been spent on temporary accommodation for homeless families since 2010 with additional emergency housing currently costing the government £160m every year.

He says that if these families were living in permanent private rented sector properties and paying the average UK rent, this would mean £60,933,960 of rent would be paid into the sector each month, totalling £731m a year. This in turn would be spent in the wider economy.

“It’s heart-breaking that so many people have no permanent roof over their heads, children in particular. What is frankly scandalous is that it doesn’t have to be this way. This appalling situation is inevitable but in many case entirely avoidable given landlords and letting agents perverse insistence on only renting properties to people who can handover an average of more than £1,000 in deposits” claims Jagota. 

“No-one is saying that deposit costs are the only cause of homelessness but if you’re a landlord or letting agent and you can’t rent out a property, ask yourself why that is case when there are enough people to fill a town the size of South Shields, Burnley or Carlisle who are literally desperate to rent a permanent home” he adds.

“At a time when the government’s own impact assessment is predicating the ban on Letting Agents Fees will cost the industry hundreds of millions of pounds and even force letting agencies out of business, the industry has to ask itself whether or not it can afford to write off that sort of income, especially when deposit replacement insurance offers far superior protection against unpaid rent, property damage and legal fees.”

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    Will someone please have a quiet word in this persons ear? He is clueless.

    It is a sad fact that a of people who end up homeless are not very capable people. With experience, I know a lot of these people have problems looking after the house they live in. Sorting that out costs money and is a never ending cost for the landlord until the tenant leaves and then there will be a refurbishment cost as well. This is not always the case of course but the only practical way to guard against it is to say, " No". When landlords do accept the risk of bad tenants you can bet they are not letting out their best properties to risky renters. If you are a risky renter this will be a curse you have to bear. A landlord will probably have little interest in "messing about" with a deposit. That costs money in fees and compliance but they do it as the only way of getting some sort of guarantee that the tenant might make an effort to look after the property.

    The only real thing that would help is to have a solid reliable system which rates people in the same way as a car insurance does. Tenants who do this will soon find they will have a magical access to good property and probably pay lower rent as well. The concept of loosing a no claims bonus is a powerful incentive to get things right and it will be very attractive for landlords.


    Very true!

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    There was a time when the local authorities/HA would rent a property for several years at an agreed rental then out homeless people/families in them. They would rent at LHA rates but carry out the repairs. Then hand back in good order. Evidently they don’t do this now for a reason!! Is it the costs of managing the tenants I wonder. The first comment is correct and with UC it is unrealistic to suggest landlords take on such responsibility without some help from the local authorities. Come on local councils this old system worked well for landlords and must have been cheaper than B&Bs etc.

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    I gave your comment a like but it won't work. Modern councils have become control freaks. If they get their hands on your properties then when it comes to giving them back they will throw a tantrum and say it is not right for you to do this. Their leaders will throw hissing fits and claim they need medical counselling to cope with your lack of charity. (liberal, I can not add up charity that is, not religious charity)

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    As with almost every housing issue the problem is lack of supply. If demand outstrips supply then you naturally choose the best. The government needs to build a million homes just to stand still. Everything else is simply tinkering. Of course if 7 million EU citizens hadn't made their home here in 10 years its likely there wouldnt be any housing crises. Removing cash deposits will make no difference at all if there are no properties to rent. Doh.


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