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Government call for evidence on reform of deposit protection

Friday 28 June 2019

Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP has announced a call for evidence on tenancy deposit protection in England.

The call for evidence seeks to understand the barriers tenants face providing a second tenancy deposit when moving from one tenancy to the next and looks at what can be done to speed up the return of deposits to tenants at the end of the tenancy.

The Government will look at whether existing initiatives to address deposit affordability are meeting tenants’ needs and whether the market can offer improved products. It will also explore innovative approaches that could be taken to help tenants move more easily, including allowing tenants to passport their deposit between tenancies.

ARLA Propertymark has been involved in a Government working group of stakeholders examining this issue throughout the last 12 months. We are supportive of the concept of tenants moving deposits between tenancies, but it is essential that the solutions are workable and affordable for tenants.

We have thoroughly rehearsed the issues around deposit protection and there are significant challenges that will need to be resolved in any plans for reform, however the working group has made significant progress in finding solutions.

We believe that the recommendations of this group will be taken into account in future plans for reform. The results of this evidence will be vital in finalising the work of the group.

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments on the Housing Secretary’s announcement for deposit passporting in the private rented sector: “We’re supportive of this concept in principle, but it needs a practical, workable solution.

“We’ve been sitting on MHCLG’s Tenancy Deposit Protection Working Group for the last 12 months, looking at the problem and finding answers.

“Significant progress has been made, and we think we’re close to a practical, implementable solution; but we’re not quite there yet.

“For deposit passporting to work we need to ensure that both the outgoing landlord’s deposit can be used if needed, while the incoming landlord has certainty they will get the full deposit they have agreed by the tenant.

“Affordability for tenants of any bridging loan or insurance policy will be key if deposit passporting is going to be a workable and affordable solution for the future of deposits.”