New research conducted by consumer comparison site, ComparetheMarket.com, has revealed that around one third of landlords are failing to protect deposits paid by tenants in an approved DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme). They are ignoring their legal obligations to protect deposits, and it is believed this statistic would affect almost 1.5 million tenants. These tenants would be in danger of losing their deposit, with 33 per cent of tenants aware that their landlord has failed to place their money within a Government-supported deposit protection scheme.

A further 35 per cent of tenants are not aware of the whereabouts of their holding deposits. Surprisingly, it is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of landlords fail to provide any written tenancy agreement during their tenancies, which leaves them and their tenants in a difficult situation should they need to go through the legal system for any reason. Not only would there be no way to prove easily when the tenancy began or what the rent amount is, any section 21 notices served would be completely invalid.

– 33 per cent of tenants claim their landlord has not stored their money in a deposit protection scheme
– 19 per cent of tenants in the UK rent without a contractual agreement with the landlord
– 36 per cent of tenants are considerably uninsured, as they do not have contents insurance
– the younger age groups are worst affected, as 46 per cent of 18 – 34 year olds have not taken out contents insurance.

It is still common for landlords to deduct money for damage or repairs from the tenant’s deposit when they move out of the property, with research showing that this occurs in 18 per cent of tenancies.

The research also indicated that:

– 12 per cent of tenants in the survey claimed they had to make repeated attempts to contact their landlord before getting a response
– 30 per cent of landlords are reportedly slow when responding to a problem that requires fixing
– 9 per cent of tenants claimed it takes between two to four weeks for their landlord to resolve an issue in the property. However, the report explains that in a number of these cases, the landlord is not at fault, with problems such as barriers to access accounting for many of these issues
– 14 per cent of tenants contact their letting agency in order to get in touch with the landlord.

The research concludes that not one party is entirely to blame, as tenants also neglect their duties in many cases, such as not allowing access.

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