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20 June 2012

Rental deposit complaints up 80%

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by Gill Montia

Rental deposit complaints up 80%

Shelter is urging private rental tenants to make sure their deposits are protected, having seen calls regarding deposit protection issues rise by 80% in the last two years.

According to the charity, the average deposit for a privately rented home currently stands at £979, meaning that if a deposit is withheld once a tenancy ends people can be pushed into debt, or even have difficulty securing to a new home.

Landlords who fail to place their tenants’ deposits in one of three authorised schemes within 30 days can be taken to court but it seems many tenants are unaware of the deadline, leaving some landlords free to flout the law.

Shelter’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, comments: “It is extremely worrying that we have seen such a huge rise in problems with tenancy deposits at a time when privately renting is no longer just a stepping stone to something better, but a long term reality for more and more families.”

Landlords who don’t protect tenants’ deposits can face a penalty of one to three times the value of the deposit, which is then awarded to the tenant.

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