Tenancy Deposit Protection withdrawn from Unregulated Letting Agents
All landlords have had to provide protection for the deposit they take when letting property from 2008 to ensure the tenant gets their money back at the end of a tenancy and also provide independent arbitration over any dispute if the property is left in poor condition.
There are only three Government approved schemes and the largest of these the Tenant Deposit Scheme have announced that at the insistence of their insurers, The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will only provide deposit protection and alternative dispute resolution to letting agents who are members of recognised professional bodies.
From April 6th reports Andrew Oulsnam, partner of Lettings and Estate Agents, Robert Oulsnam & Company, only regulated letting agents and corporate and individual landlords will be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and cover will be withdrawn from unregulated agents. Tenants are advised to ensure their landlords have made alternative arrangements to safeguard deposits as soon as possible.
The Scheme advised landlords and tenants to be certain either that their lettings agents are members of either the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), The National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS), The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); or that the deposits are protected under one the other government authorised deposit protection schemes: Tenancy Deposit Solutions (trading as mydeposits.com) or The Deposit Protection Scheme.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is writing to all current tenants whose tenancy is shown to have been arranged through an unregulated agent to advise them of the change in protection that can be offered and the course of action to take to ensure protection as the law requires. The agents concerned should advise their tenants and landlords of what they intend to do on their behalf.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme regrets the action is has been forced to take, but points out that it is due to circumstances that are well beyond its control.
Andrew Oulsnam comments that Robert Oulsnam & Company adhere to high professional standards and as well as being members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme are also members of the RICS, NAEA, ARLA and NALS.