Belfast based company TDS Northern Ireland has emerged as the clear leader in the new tenancy deposit protection market, protecting three quarters of new deposits in six months.
Housing Minister Nelson McCausland recently announced that 9,142 deposits have been protected so far in Northern Ireland. TDS Northern Ireland, the only Scheme based in Northern Ireland, announced it protects nearly 7,000 deposits worth £3.5million, 75 per cent of the market.
The news comes shortly after the announcement that a competing scheme, Capita TDP, has withdrawn from the deposit protection market.
Since April 1st landlords have been required to protect deposits on new private tenancies with one of four approved schemes. Landlords who fail to do so face a substantial fine of up to £ 20,000.
Director Ben Beadle said “It comes as no great surprise that the only Scheme with a base in Northern Ireland has emerged as the market leader. Landlords and agents have been anxious about complying with the new regulations, and this is to an extent alleviated by using a Scheme operating alongside them on the coal face.
“Our Belfast based team have been a visible presence at industry events and meetings throughout the year and regularly visit lettings agents. This is only possible by employing local staff and we are delighted that our work is benefiting the Northern Ireland lettings industry.”
NI landlords face “strictest penalties in UK”
Tenancy deposit protection is now a legal requirement across the UK, but landlords in Northern Ireland need to be particularly vigilant.
Ben Beadle continued; “Northern Ireland’s landlords face potentially the strictest penalties in the UK for not protecting deposits correctly or completing the right paperwork – up to £ 20,000.”
To support landlords and agents the not for profit scheme has published a free booklet, ‘A Guide to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Regulations’. It explains the law and the new dispute resolution mechanism which allows tenants to formally challenge deductions without going to court.
“It is up to the landlord to justify their charges so keeping evidence such as inventories, rent statements, and tenancy agreements is vital. The booklet offers guidance on how we resolve disputes and what evidence we need to see to make an award.”
Visit the TDS Northern Ireland website