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Deposit cap proposal ‘a charter for rent cheats’

letting agent fees
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Government proposals to cap deposits paid by tenants at five weeks will play into the hands of rent cheats.

The warning is being made as The Sun reports on a leaked copy of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee‘s report into the Government’s Draft Tenant Fees Bill.

According to the paper, the Committee of MPs will recommend that deposits should be capped at five weeks rent, down from the six weeks proposed by the Government.

Research by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has found that 40 per cent of private landlords have faced tenants not paying their final month’s rent in the past three years. Lowering the cap would make it easier for the minority of tenants who cheat landlords out of the rent they owe as it will leave insufficient extra funds to deal with any major problems some tenants leave behind as well.

It is also reported that the committee will call for action to prevent landlords evicting tenants simply for asking for house repairs when this already illegal under the2015 Deregulation Act.

RLA chairman Alan Ward said: “Policy makers need to address the problem of tenants who fail to pay their rent with as much energy as tackling rogue landlords.

“Proposals to lower the cap on deposits paid by tenants will play into the hands of the minority of tenants who cheat those providing housing for them out of the rent they are legitimately owed.

“We see also little point in calling for new powers to prevent landlords evicting tenants simply for raising complaints about standards in properties when powers already exist to outlaw this practice. What is needed is not new law but councils better enforcing the large array of powers they already have to root out bad landlords and tenants.”


About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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