Fifteen years ago Take That’s ‘Shine’ was at number one in the charts, ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ drew crowds into cinemas and UK’s largest protector of tenancy deposits, The Deposit Protection Service was launched.
According to DPS it now safeguards no fewer than 1.8m of the 5m households in the UK’s private rental sector this year, representing 18 per cent of all homes.
Matt Trevett, who was part of the team that designed and founded the DPS and is now its managing director, says: “The creation of deposit protection schemes was a watershed moment, because it provides a secure solution so both tenants and landlords can have total peace of mind about how deposits will be handled at the end of the tenancy.
“The private rented sector has seen significant changes during the last 15 years, including the increased digitisation of the deposit and repayment process to meet round-the-clock demand.
“However, the core principle of free, easy-to-use deposit protection during a tenancy’s lifetime remains as vital now as in 2007.
“During the decade and a half that has passed since we started, we have continuously honed our role safeguarding and repaying billions of pounds worth of deposits back to tenants while also enabling landlords and tenants to link repayment to a property’s condition at the end of a tenancy.”
The organisation says that since 2007 it has protected some 8.41m or £7.14 billion worth of deposits, repaid around £4.12bn to tenants and around £1.25bn to landlords or agents, handled over 7m phone calls and almost 2m pieces of correspondence as well as millions of online interactions, and trained over 10,000 landlords and letting agents on all aspects of deposit protection.
Drawing on its experience it says fewer than three per cent of tenancies registered with the organisation have ended in dispute; cleaning has been the most likely cause of a claim against a deposit (23 per cent in 2022); with damage and rent arrears the second and third most likely.