Nearly one-third of tenants living in rented accommodation do not know their rights when it comes to deposit protection schemes.
This is according to homelessness charity Shelter, which reported one in five are not aware whether their deposit has been protected, while 9% know their downpayments are definitely not protected.
Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes launched in May 2012 and protect both landlords and tenants by holding the deposit in a third-party account until the contract has come to an end and any disputes over the return of the money have been resolved. They are intended to encourage any deposit issues to be sorted out quickly, as neither party has access to the cash until they have been.
Housing Minster Mark Prisk said: “Tenancy deposit schemes offer vital protection for both tenants and landlords, giving them financial peace of mind and offering neutral help to resolve disputes.”
He stated seven million deposits have been protected over the last six years through these initiatives, adding there is “always more to do” to educate tenants about their rights and ensure their cash is safe.
Typical deposits have now reached £992 in the UK, so it is a significant amount of money for many people and it is important that this sum is protected so they receive as much of it back when they leave the property.
Campbell Rob, Chief Executive at Shelter, stated: “It is extremely worrying that so many are still unaware of their tenancy deposit rights.”
TDP applies for any deposits on assured shorthold tenancies paid on or after April 6th 2007 and they were introduced to ensure residents get their money back as long as they meet all the terms of the tenancy agreement, they do not damage the property and they pay all their rent and bills.