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The Deposit Protection Scheme – Keeping Your Money Safe

Deposits can be a scary thing.  You’re handing over a large sum of money to someone you barely know, and trusting that you’ll get it back.  Unfortunately, landlords have broken this trust in the past, which is why in 2007, the Government introduced tenancy protection laws in the UK.  These laws mean that landlords are obliged to place your deposit within a deposit protection scheme to keep it safe until you get it back.

The schemes are government run, meaning they’re completely reputable and trustworthy.  The four schemes available to landlords are:

Each of these websites contains a tool which, as a tenant, you can use to double check that your deposit is protected.  Your landlord is also legally obligated to tell you which deposit protection scheme they are using and how you can apply to get your deposit back.  For a full list of landlord responsibilities regarding your deposit, and to check your landlord isn’t keeping any important information from you, follow the link here.

So what if your landlord hasn’t used a deposit protection scheme?  Well, the four aforementioned websites all offer help and advice for such an event.  The official government website on deposit protection also recommends contacting a county court, who may demand that the landlord repay you the deposit or pay it into a scheme within two weeks.

Moving house is stressful enough without the added anxiety of what your new landlord may be doing with your deposit, so keep your mind at ease by making sure your money is stored away in a reputable deposit protection scheme.  It’s the law!

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Regulation of Letting Agents

Landlords and tenants are to be better protected by rogue letting agents under new government legislation.

A recent amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has introduced the regulation of letting agents. Until now letting agents have not been legally required to be a member of an ombudsman scheme, despite the huge sums of money the industry handles each year.

It’s thought prior to this new legislation up to 40 per cent of letting agents did not sign-up to self regulation.

This made the situation difficult when things went wrong.  Tenants and landlords now have the chance to get money they are owed back from rogue agents without resorting to the courts.

Mistoria Estate Agents welcomes tighter regulation, we believe until now many agents have been able to operate with impunity as consumers have had no way of addressing the actions of unscrupulous or negligent agents.

Lady Hayter, the Labour peer who has led the campaign for lettings regulation comments,

“While this is definitely a step in the right direction, I think it’s a shame that the government stopped short of introducing full regulation of the lettings industry.”

Ian Potter, managing director of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents says,

“The government’s amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill marks a positive move for the private rented sector and in particular, for consumers, who only stand to benefit from a formal system of redress. However it is vital that the Government begins the process of consultation quickly, taking on board the views of the sector and moves to introduce secondary legislation as soon as possible.”

It’s hoped this new legislation will come into effect by the autumn, following a consultation with both industry and consumer groups.

If you have a property you would like us to manage for you, please get in touch. Call us on 0161 707 6106. We look forward to hearing from you.