Deposit Schemes – Here To Serve & Protect
So, let’s get down to business and talk deposit schemes.
For some of you it is standard procedure, but for others it is that “inconvenient” extra step that you think you could go without. But deposit schemes aren’t there to waste your time; in fact they exist to save it. More importantly they exist to protect your property.
But the issue landlords are increasingly facing is knowing how to properly and sufficiently use the deposit scheme. It’s more than just registering the funds of your current tenants; it’s about understanding and in turn taking advantage of all available resources provided to you.
As of the 6th April 2007, it’s mandatory that all landlords who let a property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must register his or her tenant’s deposit with one of three government-backed tenancy deposit schemes.
During this time, statistics have shown that there is a high level of deposit scheme disputes being won in the favour of the tenants due to the lack of evidence. According to the Tenant Deposit Scheme Annual Review 2014, since 2007 tenants have won 100 per cent of a deposit more often than landlords, with reports showing that 53% of all cases were due to cleaning disputes.
So what can you do to best take advantage of this system in order to protect yourself and your property?
One of the most common steps to take is to ensure an authorised inventory report is conducted at your property. Whilst an inventory report is not compulsory, in practice, it is essential. The compiled report is a detailed record that lists not only the items included in the tenancy, but any existing damage to the property and the condition of each item. How this report will assist is when the tenancy is due to end, it will provide a detailed comparison of how the property was to how the property has been left. If for any reason either party feels compelled to make a dispute, the report will fairly support the outcome.
Whilst we now know what deposit schemes are doing for us, we should also reflect on what they are doing for the market. DPS, one on the government regulated deposit schemes, stated that in the last year they saw 4,500 lettings agents and 48,000 landlords, which meant at least 200 landlords registered with them every day. These figures are testament to ongoing growth of the private rented sector, especially during the current economic climate. More people are looking to rent, rather than to buy with the average tenancy period rising from 12-14 months to 22 months.
With this new perception and appreciation that deposit schemes are here to protect and serve, together agents and landlords can work harmoniously together to ensure the continuous smooth running of the tenancies.
Here at PropertyTime we believe in results achieved through great communication and regulation. We have the tools and the knowledge to assist in protecting you and your property. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact our office to further discuss how we can assist you with registering your future deposits.