Shelter secures protection for tenants

18 November 2011

A young couple

Shelter has secured critical changes to the tenancy deposit scheme, which will help to protect millions of people living in the private rented sector.

The changes, which were included this week under the Localism Act 2011, will tighten up previous legal loop holes and mean landlords will no longer be able to avoid protecting a tenant’s deposit.

Households will also be able to take action against any landlord who fails to comply.

Government backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes were introduced in April 2007 after a long campaign by Shelter and Citizen’s Advice. However, problems with rent deposits have continued to be a problem for people across the country; between July and September 2011, Shelter’s housing advice helpline saw calls about rental deposits increase by over 40%. 

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This is a hugely important win for the three million households privately renting, tightening up loopholes so significant that they rendered the schemes ineffective and toothless. 

With these vital improvements the legislation can achieve what it was created for – setting out clear responsibilities and timescales for landlords to protect tenants’ deposits and providing a quick and efficient way of resolving any deposit disputes.

The next challenge is to ensure awareness of this law among tenants and landlords, so that people privately renting know that their hard-earned deposits are protected, and that landlords have the correct information about their rights and responsibilities.’

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