The Conservatives’ new concept of a so-called Lifetime Deposit has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association.
Yesterday, Letting Agent Today revealed that the Tories were to pledge the idea in the party’s manifesto - yet to be released - with Prime Minister Boris Johnson promising: “The costs of deposits make it harder to move. We are going to fix that. We will end no-fault evictions, so that landlords can’t remove tenants without good reason, and introduce lifetime rental deposits so renters don’t have to save up for a new deposit while their money is tied up in an old one.”
The new scheme would enable tenants to produce a digital certificate stating that their deposit is still tied up, with the money transferring to the new landlord only once the previous one has returned it.
This has been welcomed by David Smith, policy director of the RLA, who says: “We have long argued that deposits should be transferable. It will make renting cheaper and easier for tenants. It is vital though that the detail of the plans ensure that both landlords and tenants can have complete confidence in how the lifetime deposit will work.”
He continues: “On the pledge by the Conservatives to end so called ‘no fault’ repossessions, we agree that the system needs to be reformed, but this needs to be done properly.
“Whilst any new system should protect tenants from the minority of landlords who abuse the current rights, it is important that good landlords can be confident that in circumstances such as tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour they can swiftly and easily regain possession of their property.
“We want to see comprehensive reform that works for both landlords and tenants. This should include setting up a dedicated housing court offering easy and inexpensive access to justice for both tenants and landlords.”
Meanwhile Dan Wilson Craw, director of Generation Rent, says: “For many people renting from private landlords, your damage deposit is the closest thing you have to savings. We have been calling for tenants to be able to transfer this money between tenancies, which would make it much easier to move, and give tenants more control over their homes and lives.
"In addition, the £4.4 billion of tenants’ cash currently protected could be used more productively than it is under the current system, with investment returns benefiting tenants. It is welcome to see support for our proposal and we want all parties to commit to reforming tenancy deposits in the next Parliament.”