Just one in five letting agents and not one landlord thinks that tenancy deposit schemes are intended in their favour.
Most believe that the schemes are designed in favour of tenants, however, less than half of tenants were even aware that the schemes exist, or whether their deposits had been safeguarded.
A Brief Overview of the Tenant Deposit Scheme
The new figures are the result of a survey by Imfuna, of landlords, letting agents, and tenants.
A shocking 0% of landlords claimed that the deposit schemes are designed in their favour, and 35% said that neither they nor their tenant benefit from the protection schemes.1
The views of letting agents reflects this, with just 20% stating that the schemes favoured landlords, and 52% believing that they are favouring tenants. An additional 22% think that the schemes do not benefit anyone involved.1
The research has been conducted in conjunction with new additions to the Localism Act that came into force on 6th April. The new rules dictate that all landlords will face large fines, up to three times the deposit, if their tenant’s deposit is not protected properly within 30 days, and the prescribed information is not provided.
Jax Kneppers, creator of Imfuna, says: “The survey presents a picture of landlord disenchantment with the deposit schemes.
“The fact that not a single landlord surveyed felt they were designed in their favour, shows that there is still some work to be done by all parties in order to democratise the inventory process and ensure that everyone involved feels they are supported in equal measure.”1
Awareness of the schemes is extremely high amongst landlords, with 99% knowing about the service. Letting agents are also knowledgeable, with 88% aware. Tenants, however, do not know of the schemes, with just 43% knowing about them before their tenancy started.1
This was reflected in almost half of tenants surveyed, 49%, stating that their deposits were not placed in a scheme.1
Only 37% of landlords also believe that the deposit schemes do not effectively minimise conflict, compared to 78% of tenants.1
Kneppers found that the schemes do not seem to be successfully resolving problems, with just 19% of landlords and 36% of letting agents thinking that the services reduce the time taken over disputes.1
Almost half of letting agents, 48%, and 30% of landlords claimed to have settled a dispute privately.1
The research surveyed 1,000 tenants, 100 landlords who own over 20 properties, and 50 letting agents during February.1