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abolish deposit protection scheme

1 Comment 7th July 2010

Abolish the requirement that all landlords must deposit their deposit against damage and lose on the proper with the dps.  TIn my case, this manditory  scheme for landlords requires £200 be deposited for each tenant, from which damages can be deducted before returning the balance to the tenant at the end of the contract. 

In the past, landlords collect a deposit when a tenant moved into the property, an amount agreed before the contract was signed.  Any damages to the property were simply taken from this sum before the tenant vacated the property.  If their was no damage, the sum was returned in total;  if the damage was greater, then the landlord could take the tenant to court to recover the lose if it was not covered by insurance.  If the landlord refused to return the deposit, the tenant could take the landlord to court to recover the money.

Now, the government has intervened and created a lot of unnecessary red tape to cover this simple process that worked for years and years, but with no guarantee that it will solve the problem of the bad landlord that it was intended to address.

Why does this matter?

I let a house to two students each year and have done so for 3 years, a total of 6 students.  I collect their deposit and then deposit it in the dps.  This is time-consuming but not difficult;  the problem comes with trying to collect for damages and returning the remaining deposit.

The red tape is unfriendly, to say the least.  Of the 6 students, 2 have not yet collected their deposit after over a year, despite remindings from myself.  Their money just sits there in the dps account, so who gets it in the end???  Had the government not go involved, I would have just deducted it from the last months rent, and thus ended the matter with NO red tape. 

On the other hand, collecting for damages is even more difficult.  With my last tenant who badly burnt the carpet, I ended up negotiating directly with the tenant, he gave me £80 directly, and then I helped him claim the £200 back, as this was easier than using the deposit protection scheme.

I know that corrupt landlords exist, but the scheme doesn't help their tenants as they simply don't use the dps.  My son recently had to go to court to get his deposit back from his landlord who just didn't deposit the money in the scheme.

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