We’re proud sponsors of Lettings Live and The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2016

Lettings Live and The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards are just around the corner (10 June 2016) and we’re delighted to be one of the official sponsors. The prestigious annual event is the highlight of many letting agents’ social calendars.  

Last year, we were delighted to win the Silver Award in the Supplier of the Year category. We’re in the running once again for the 2016 awards and we’d love to go one better and take home gold. 

We’d like to wish all our customers who’ve entered the awards the best of luck in their categories. 

Come see us at our stand during the live event

We’ll also be at the Lettings Live event during the day. Two of our business experts, Chris and David, will be on hand to share their knowledge and answer any questions you have about our service, or about tenancy deposit protection in general. 

If you’re attending the event, here’s why you should pop over and have a chat…

›    We’re experienced  - We’ve protected over 4.2 million deposits since 2007
›    We offer great service - Callers rate our Customer Service Team over 9/10
›    We’re fast - We repay deposits within 2 working days

If that’s not enough to tempt you, there’s also a prize draw – visit our stand for the chance for you to win an iPad mini. 

It promises to be a great day and we’re looking forward to meeting you all.  
 

David Hackett

David joined us in 2011, working in Customer Service and Dispute Resolution before recently moving to our Account Management Team as our Senior Account Manager. He’s responsible for ensuring his team continues to provide top service to our managed clients.

 

Chris Jackson

Chris is our Business Support Team Manager and has been a member of our team since 2010. He makes sure his team gives you the highest levels of customer service possible whilst providing the guidance and advice you need.

Guest blog: Eric Walker on how new Government changes may affect the letting industry

Recently, George Osborne issued his Autumn Statement, containing some surprising announcements that may have an impact on the letting industry. Following our summary of the key points in the statement, we thought it would be good to find out the opinions of one of the industry’s most respected experts, Eric Walker, MD of the Northwood group, and his thoughts on how the Government’s recent raft of housing market changes might affect the future of the letting industry.  Here’s what he had to say!

There is no doubt both landlords and agents face challenges, but this is nothing new and this industry is one that adapts better than most. I have read the prophecies of landlords leaving in droves as I have read reports of an imminent crash in the housing market every year for as long as I can remember. Not even Robert Peston has ever called it right. Nevertheless, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented number of changes. These changes can be categorized under the headings ‘regulatory’ and ‘financial’.

Red tape is on the increase and undoubtedly there will be more to come. New rules over smoke alarms, immigration checks, licensing, consumer protection and the relentless voice of Shelter and Generation Rent make letting a complex business.  Whilst I support the need to improve standards, increasingly the lack of policing and enforcement creates an unfair burden on those who comply. Once the consumer enforcers start policing, and they will, there may be many landlords who unwittingly find themselves with large fines and even criminal records. Further, they will find that regaining possession of a property even where a tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement will become much more difficult.

There was a time that all the Court required to grant possession under S21 of the 1988 Housing act was a tenancy agreement and a copy of the notice. Now, you must prove the deposit is protected, the tenant was given prescribed terms, provide a copy of the Gas Safety certificate, the EPC, proof of providing the Government’s ‘How to Rent’ pamphlet and that there were no repairs reported which were not dealt with appropriately.  My advice as one would expect is to use a professional, accredited letting agent.

Quite why George Osborne is targeting the buy to let market when more and more people chose to rent is baffling especially as there is such a shortage of homes and the private rented sector is a rich vein of supply. Some investors may well rush to buy before the April deadline, but this may cost them more as there will be lots of competition. What investors may not have considered is that Stamp Duty can be off-set against your future capital gains tax liability when you sell your property. Therefore, perhaps we should just look as the increased stamp duty charge as an advanced payment on CGT!

Towards the end of next year, landlords may well find an increase in the number of tenants looking for a home reducing void periods and raising rents through simple supply and demand. Interest rates remain artificially low and are unlikely to exceed 2% until 2020 at the earliest which will continue to mitigate the increased tax burden on mortgage interest. There is little doubt that property remains a safer and better long term investment than putting your savings in a bank account.

Some commentators believe many landlords will simply sell up creating an even greater housing shortage. I don’t subscribe to this as it implies a majority of landlords are professional investors. In fact, over 70% of landlords only have one property and 20% make no money from letting and rely upon capital growth as a long term investment. If I am wrong, then the seemingly anti-landlord measures will spectacularly backfire on those who called for them. If I am right, the market will simply adjust as it usually does. It will be a bumpy ride, but within 18 months we will have wondered what all the fuss was about.

The single most important element of improving this marketplace is consumer protection. I urge people to support the need for regulation and compulsory client’s money protection insurance. In an ideal world, I would like to see all deposits held in a custodial scheme. Landlords and tenants should seek out agents who choose to be members of a regulatory body and question those who do not. Tenants are quite properly becoming more aware of their rights. By providing a fair and professional lettings industry everyone but the rogue element benefit.

Eric Walker, MD Northwood

A new contract, the same high standards

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve retained the government contract to continue operating our Custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme following a competitive tender.

Our Managing Director, Julian Foster, said: “I’m delighted that the government has again chosen to entrust us with this substantial responsibility.

“This contract reflects the smoothness, transparency, fairness and security with which we have run the scheme over the last eight years – as well as its huge popularity among landlords and letting agents.”

We’re the largest provider of tenancy deposit protection in the UK to date and have been the only operator of a Custodial scheme since our launch in April 2007. We’re thrilled that we have the opportunity to continue providing high quality services to the almost half a million landlords and letting agents we have registered with us, as well as over 2 million tenants who depend on us to keep their deposits safe.

The government invited prospective partners to submit tenders for the scheme in March this year, and as well as awarding us a licence to continue operating our existing Custodial scheme, have given licences to two other businesses to set up new Custodial schemes to run alongside our existing scheme and the three Insured deposit protection schemes.

With the rental sector expanding and evolving, we’ll continue to play a leading role within the industry, focusing on rapid deposit repayment; clear, regular communication with landlords and tenants; and the provision of the best support, whether online, over the phone or in person at events, exhibitions and workshops.

We look forward to building on our relationship with you in the future, and continuing to provide you with the same high standards of service you expect!

The DPS Team

Don't lose your deposit on bonfire night

We all know how fun bonfire night can be, and it’s always tempting to outdo the neighbours with your display, but it does have its risks. There are over 1,000 firework-related injuries* every year, and also damage caused to gardens and properties. If you’re a tenant in rented accommodation, it can prove costly and could lead to you losing your deposit if you’re liable for any damage caused to the property.

When planning your evening, here are just a few facts for you to bear in mind… 

  • Fireworks can travel at speeds up to 150mph*
  • Three sparklers burn together at the same heat as that of a blowtorch*
  • The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties*

We want you to have a great time, but more importantly we want you, your family and friends, and your homes to be safe, so here are some safety tips to help avoid bonfire night going with the wrong sort of bang! 

1)    Make sure you only buy fireworks from a reputable retailer
2)    If you’re having a bonfire, make sure it’s at least 18m (60ft) away from buildings trees, hedges, fences or sheds
3)    To avoid your fireworks ‘firing’ in the wrong direction, put them in a bucket of soft earth and in a suitable location
4)    Keep a close eye on the weather. Any sudden changes in wind direction could change the direction of aerial fireworks
5)    Don’t ever light fireworks in or near your property
6)    Never throw any used fireworks on a bonfire
7)    Never use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol to get a bonfire going. This can cause an uncontrollable spread of fire or even an explosion.

Of course, the best way of protecting your deposit on bonfire night is to leave it to the professionals and go to a public display.

Have fun, be safe and keep your home in one piece.  

The DPS Team

*Source: NHS choices  

More success for The DPS!

We’re delighted once again to have received the recognition of the lettings industry, this time in the Letting Agency of the Year Awards 2015.  We took the Silver Award in the Best Lettings Supplier category which covers all sectors supplying services to lettings agents.

The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards is an annual event, held in association with The Sunday Times & The Times and sponsored by Zoopla Property Group. The Best Supplier category covers all sectors which supply services to lettings agents. Award winners were decided following a rigorous and thorough judging process by a panel of 20 industry experts. They assessed all the submissions, before conducting an extensive review of the entrants which included over 150 hours of telephone interviews and independent mystery shopping exercises.

We’re determined to keep improving our business, so we really are proud to receive this kind of recognition from our industry.

Julian Foster, Managing Director of Computershare Business Services said “It's fantastic to win this award so soon after winning Best Supplier of Tenancy Deposit Protection at the ESTAS, and is an acknowledgement of the great service The DPS team deliver to our customers, especially as we were measured against such a high calibre field of suppliers to the lettings industry."

The award was presented by women’s marathon world record holder, Paula Radcliffe.  

“This really is a great achievement for us and to receive an award from such a sporting legend, who achieved so much in their career, was also a great moment” said Daren King, Head of Tenancy Deposit Protection.

 Pictured: Paula Radcliffe, presenting Julian Foster and Daren King of The DPS with the award

Pictured: Paula Radcliffe, presenting Julian Foster and Daren King of The DPS with the award

Keep web safe

We hear all too often in the news examples of consumers becoming victims of identity theft, so here are a few tips for our customers to help you stay safe on the internet. Don’t give out personal information, such as any PIN numbers or even your DPS repayment ID (it’s like a PIN number too!).

Remember to keep your passwords secret. If possible, use passwords that include numbers, capital letters, lower case letters and symbols to make them more secure, and don’t write them down. Don’t leave any of your ID details in public view, as these details can also be used by someone trying to impersonate you.

Take a good look at any emails you receive before you click on any links. If there are spelling mistakes or the sender is asking you for information it should already have, then the email may be fake and potentially dangerous. We will never email you to ask for details such as your username, password or answers to security questions.

Meet the team - Alexandra Coghlan-Forbes, Head of Adjudication

What does your role involve?I am a Chartered Legal Executive with 20 years experience in the legal profession. I worked in private practice, for local government and a housing association before taking up my role here in 2008.

I am responsible for the team of in house adjudicators, allocating the cases which are ready for adjudication, ensuring that they are completed within the required deadlines, and providing advice, assistance and support to the adjudicators in respect of the decisions they make. I also complete a number of decisions myself.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen whilst in the role? There are two things that spring to mind. The first was a landlord who sent in dirt, dust and mouldy sweet wrappers from the loft show me that the tenant had been ‘living’ up there. The second was a tenant who wallpapered the lounge of their rental property using silver foil!

What’s the best thing about your role? I am very conscious that all cases must be given full and fair consideration, and enjoy the challenges of making practical decisions in respect of actual disputes. I have adjudicated in thousands of disputes, and can honestly say that no two cases are ever the same!

I also run a practical case study in respect of adjudication in the ADR Workshops which are run by the DPS for Landlord’s and Agents. This is, I hope, an interesting insight into the role of an adjudicator. I usually find that by the end of the session most participants come up to me and say “I’m glad I don’t have to do your job!”

However, I’m glad I am doing it! I enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction I get from ensuring the quality and integrity of our decisions.

What’s most challenging? Probably reading comments on social media sites which suggest the outcome of an Adjudication was unfair. In most cases, we’re unable to identify who the aggrieved party is, and therefore have no way to reply.

If complaints about the decisions are raised with us directly, we would hope to be able to provide further clarification or explanation as to why the landlord, letting agent or tenant may have lost. In most situations, the reason a landlord’s claim fails is because the evidence they presented was not sufficient. Querying the outcome directly with The DPS is often an important way in which landlords can learn from their past bad experience and improve their evidence in future claims.

The DPS runs regular ADR workshops in which you can improve your evidence submissions. Keep an eye on our website where we post details of future events.

Meet the team – Chris Jackson, Customer Service Representative

What does your role involve? I’ve worked for The DPS for almost two years and I take inbound customer service calls in the contact centre, provide help and advice and resolve our customers’ account issues on a daily basis.

Usually, the calls are from tenants, letting agents and landlords wanting to know something about their account or deposits but we occasionally receive calls from solicitors and other third parties as well.

We’re able to access our customers’ account details so that when they call we have all the information we need via The DPS administration site – so we can see records of all previous notes, deposits and any issues in order to fully assist the caller.

When call volumes are high my days can be pretty full on and I can take up to 15 calls per hour. During quieter periods we catch up on admin and perform follow-up to the day’s calls.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard whilst at The DPS?

The funniest call we’ve received in the contact centre was actually nothing to do with deposit protection at all! One of my colleagues took a call the other day from a gentleman requesting we issue him with a new copy of his driving licence as he had lost his old one – unfortunately, we were unable to assist but did point him in the direction of the DVLA!

What’s the best thing about your role?

Being able to solve problems and send customers away happy. As a CSR I’m normally the first point of contact The DPS customers and my aim is always to make their telephone call a pleasant experience. In most cases, I am able to answer the question over the telephone, and it is always nice to receive a ‘thank you’ from the customer at the end of the call.

As well as the satisfaction of helping our customers, I love the people I work with! Everybody is very friendly and supportive; even colleagues in other departments who I don’t see on a daily basis. With the best will in the world we can’t answer all calls right there and then so need to call on the wider DPS team – they’re always professional and look to assist me as promptly and efficiently as they can.

What is Most Challenging? The most challenging aspect of the job is when I find myself in a situation where I’m unable to assist a customer over the phone. For example, the question could relate to a decision reached by an Adjudicator, in which case this has to be referred to the adjudication team. In this instance I’d normally ask the customer to send the enquiry to us in writing to ensure the customer gets their answer as soon as possible.

If you’ve been meaning to get in touch with us about an enquiry, give our team a call on 0844 4727 000 – you might get to speak to Chris!

Welcome to our ‘Meet the team’ series!

We have a great team here at The DPS and I’m sure you’re all wondering what they get up to on a daily basis! Well now’s your chance to find out. We’ve asked several of our team members to write a blog for you, introducing themselves and what they do as part of The DPS. Among those contributing will be Chris Jackson, one of our Customer Service Representatives. You’ll also hear from one of our letting agent Account Managers, an ADR case Handler and our Head of Adjudication.

To kick things off though, here’s a little bit about our Director, Kevin Firth, in his own words.

What does your role involve? I have overall responsibility for The DPS, including our employees, our systems, the decisions we make and the service we provide. No pressure then !!

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen whilst in the role? A landlord had walked around their rental property in bare feet, gathering the dust and crumbs from the floor, then sent us the picture of her feet as evidence that the tenant had not cleaned the floor. Whilst adjudication is a very serious issue with sometimes quite large sums of money at stake, every now and then a landlord’s interpretation of a paper-based service provides for some light relief.

What’s the best thing about your role? I like attending and hosting events because it gives me the chance to meet with landlords, letting agents and tenants and find out what they think of the service, what they think we do well, and ways in which they think we could enhance the service. We’ve updated several of our processes following feedback from our customers and it’s made the scheme more efficient over the years.

What’s most challenging? Raising awareness amongst tenants to ensure their landlords and letting agents are complying and protecting their deposits. It’s harder to spread the message amongst the tenant community as it’s constantly changing and we’re always looking for different ways to reach them. Social media channels like Twitter are helping us reach this audience and we’ve got nearly 2,500 followers.

The DPS – a year in review

Undoubtedly the hottest topic on the property pages has been the rapid rise of the private rented sector. Monthly rental values soared and tenant population increased as the housing market struggled. Letting agent Haart released figures in December 2011 that showed a 10% increase in the number of people registering with them over the last 3 months – a trend they expect to continue this year.

Activity at The DPS over the last year has also increased in line with this report. Since April 2011, monthly registrations and deposit submissions have been higher than last year. Here are some of the highlights:

›  Nearly 1 million deposits repaid since scheme launch in 2007

›  825,000 deposits worth £644 million currently protected on behalf of 166 organisations, 280,000 landlords and letting agents.

›  191,000 enquiries through Emma, our online virtual agent

›  69,000 text message reminders sent

›  50,000 deposit submissions in September – always a peak month but this was 4,000 more than 2010.

›  6,000 new landlords in August - 500 more than in 2010

›  600 adjudications completed in November – twice as many as last year but you’d expect this rise as the scheme matures

›  450 new letting agents in October

The DPS has the infrastructure and capability to easily deal with any rise in registrations, submissions, repayments and adjudications. With a new look website launched late last year and several new features that make deposit protection even easier for those landlords and tenants who are new to deposit protection, we’re more than ready to cope with further increases expected in 2012.

A landlord’s work is never done…

Landlords and letting agents never rest, particularly when there is so much demand on rental property and it seems several didn’t even take a break over Christmas and New Year.

›  We registered 5 new landlords on Christmas Day and a further 59 on New Year’s Eve.

›  15 deposits were submitted on Christmas Day and another 187 on New Year’s Eve

›  The latest deposit submitted on Christmas Day was at 23:09. On New Year’s eve, the last deposit was registered just in   time for fireworks and champagne at 23:41!

The year ahead…

We’re all very excited about taking deposit protection to Scotland this year and are currently awaiting approval from the Scottish Government to launch The LPS Scotland. We’re expecting this to be in April this year, so if you have rental properties in Scotland, get familiar with the requirements on the website and blog.

On behalf of everyone at The DPS, I wish you all the best for 2012.

Britons want to live with Cheryl Cole!

Despite keeping a low profile recently, Cheryl Cole has topped our latest survey in which we asked 1000 tenants who their ideal celebrity roommate is. 8% of tenants asked wanted to share a pad with Cheryl who pipped Johnny Depp (4%), David Beckham (3%) and Lady Gaga (3%) to the post.

The results have made for interesting reading. The usual suspects are all there of course, but there are also some more bizarre choices like Johnny Vegas and Robocop!

Singers and bands were the nation’s most sought after companions with nearly a third of you wishing you could share washing up duties with the likes of Robbie Williams, Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg.

The savviest tenants wanted those who would be best around the house, like Kim and Aggie to run the duster round and Jamie Oliver to whip up some tasty meals.

There were some much loved TV and film characters in the running as well, including Eastenders’ Dot Cotton, action stars James Bond and Mr T and funny-man Keith Lemon.

There’s a serious message here too: how well do you know the people you’re moving in with? Even if you think you know your fellow roommates, living with them may be very different. You’ll be responsible for paying a deposit which you’ll only get back by complying with your signed tenancy agreement and leaving the property in the same state it was when you moved in (subject to usual wear and tear) – so the return of your money depends on the reliability of others. 

If you don’t know who you’re moving in with, get to know them a little beforehand; the people you live with can be more important than the property and you wouldn’t rent a place without going to see it first.”

It’s vital for landlords to know their prospective tenants too. I’ve read several stories lately about a growing trend for rent arrears and the impact it’s having on landlords. Cheryl Cole is unlikely to have any trouble affording rent but make sure you undertake the necessary financial checks so you can be confident your prospective tenant(s) can afford the payments.

For a list of the top ten celebs and top 5 celeb categories, click here.

A third of tenants could be at risk from faulty gas fittings and appliances

I’ve just been reading the latest research from spareroom.co.uk – the flat and house-share website – which has found that one in three tenants may be at risk as a result of landlords failing to carry out annual gas safety checks. They say 34 per cent of tenants are living in properties with out-of-date gas certificates; this is only slightly less than the figure recorded last year (36 per cent). It’s a worrying statistic, particularly when you consider that 330 people were seriously injured in the UK last year from gas-related exposure and a further 10 fatally injured*.

Landlords are legally obliged to have gas appliances checked each year by a ‘Gas Safe Register’ engineer. As well as ensuring gas appliances are safe, Landlords are also required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) produced and to protect their tenants’ deposits.

With a larger number of inexperienced landlords being forced into the industry, it’s highly likely that many of them are not aware of the legal responsibilities they have as a landlord which could explain the latest findings.

If you’re unsure of what you need to do in order to let your property, get in touch with your local landlord association who can offer advice and support.

* Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Over 1000 followers on Twitter!

Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to follow us and receive our updates. When we first joined Twitter we used it to push messages out to our landlords, letting agents and tenants; to update you on new services, latest news and offer advice and guidance.

Now, and with over 1000 followers, we’re seeing much more interaction from our customers as well which is really positive. In particular, more of you have started using Twitter to get in touch about specific deposit enquiries; it’s a great way to reach out to us as it’s instantaneous and we’re able to see where you’re having trouble or need some support.

However, it’s prompted us to make a conscious decision about how we respond via Twitter.

We now protect in excess of 685,000 deposits and complete over 10,000 transactions per week, so inevitably sometimes you will have questions that are not covered in the FAQs on our website However, it’s important to us that all customer enquiries are dealt with in the same way and in the same timeframe.

So from today, to make sure our enquiry process is fair for all, any enquiries we receive over Twitter will be sent directly to our operations team who’ll come back to you as soon as possible, usually within 2 days.

If you do use twitter to get in touch, don’t forget that you shouldn’t disclose any personal information – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The DPS Christmas competition deadline extended!

Some of you have asked that we extend our deadline so that you have more time to submit entries after the Christmas festivities are over. In view of this we have extended the deadline to Tuesday 11th January! So you now have even longer to let us know how your tenant or landlord went out of their way to do good this Christmas and help them to be named as The DPS’ Festive Landlord and Festive Tenant 2010!

Email us today at competition@depositprotection.com and you could win yourself an iPod nano as a late Christmas present!

Click here for more details.

Merry Christmas from The DPS!

It’s nearly time for us all to take a well earned break from work, enjoy lots of food, perhaps a festive drink and the joys of Christmas TV. Having said that, on Christmas day in 2008 20 landlords and letting agents submitted deposits to The DPS; proving that for some, the work never stops! I wonder how many of you will take a break from your Christmas dinner to submit a deposit this year – we’ll be keeping an eye on it and let you know in the New Year!

Since January we’ve welcomed 4,300 new letting agents and 57,700 new landlords. Nearly 500,000 new deposits worth £380 million were registered and we completed 3150 adjudications – 38% were awarded solely to the tenant, 18% solely to the landlord and 44% were split between the tenant and landlord. We broke a couple of our own records too and we’re looking forward to breaking those again next year!

On behalf of everyone at The DPS, I hope you all have a great Christmas and a happy New Year!

And don’t forget that our Christmas competition is open until 3rd January and we’d love to hear about the great things your tenants and landlords have done over Christmas to make it that bit more special for each other.

So make sure you email us with your stories competition@depositprotection.com and we will name The DPS’s Festive Landlord and Festive Tenant 2010 in the New Year. Click here for more information.

A night of glamour and success at the Property women awards!

I had the pleasure of the company of many lady landlords at last Thursday’s Women In Property awards in London. The DPS was one of the sponsors, so I dug out my tux and headed off to congratulate the many and deserved award winners. It never ceases to amaze me what lengths really good landlords and ladies will go to to help their tenants out. This year’s overall winner, Juliet Ashton-Taylor, even goes so far as to keep one of her rooms at a knock-down price for someone who needs a helping hand in putting their life back on track. Another lady, Fiona Macaskill, plants fruit trees and vegetables in the gardens of her properties for her tenants to use. We often hear about the ‘rogue’ side of the industry, but I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time listening to what the best landlords and letting agents do. Well done to all of this year’s winners. http://www.propertywomenawards.org.uk/winners2010.aspx

The DPS continue to grow

We’re now in our fourth year of operation and continuing to grow – in fact, last month was the busiest in our history: we protected over 48,000 deposits. The beginning of April has seen us smash another record by protecting 3,800 deposits in one day! In total we now protect in excess of £410m which is well over half a million deposits.   When we launched we were aimed at private landlords with small property portfolios, however, The DPS has proven popular across the whole industry, including large portfolio landlords and Letting Agents.

I took a look at the latest stats this morning which show that over 17,300 Letting Agents use our scheme, including the majority of Martin & Co franchises, Belvoir and Grosvenor.

We’re continually told by agents that tenants feel safer when their deposit is protected by a trusted third party rather than the agent or landlord – and they would prefer to choose an agent that has our sticker in the window.

In the last year we have taken on 4,295 new agents; the largest influx in the first 4 months of 2010, presumably the combined effect of low interest rates and the TDS fee increases.

In short our scheme is a viable and popular option for agents and we’re happy to talk to anyone who wants more information, including details of our new bulk upload facility, which makes life even easier for busy businesses.

The DPS welcomes Government move to safeguard more tenants’ deposits

The decision from the Government to bring tenancies worth up to £100,000 per year under the tenancy deposit legislation is a great one. Tenancy deposit legislation previously only covered Assured Shorthold Tenancies up to £25,000. Tenancies valued higher than this had no requirement to be protected under a deposit protection scheme.

However, from October this year, deposits up to £100,000 will also need to be protected. This closes a loophole that, since the legislation came into force in 2007, left many of the most vulnerable tenants, like students or large house-shares, with no protection. 

It’s a common assumption that people living in high value rental properties are rich and successful, but this is often not the case.

Students, for example, will form groups and move into large houses, paying a combined rent that easily exceeds £25,000 annually. People working hard to get through university should be given the same protection as young professionals or families renting a smaller house.

The Government move to expand the deposit protection scheme is the right thing to do and it’s estimated to bring another 15,000 new tenancies under the umbrella of deposit protection.

The DPS will have no trouble coping with this increase in deposits – we’re wholly confident that we will deliver a smooth service for landlords and tenants and can offer total protection for all deposits.

Kevin Firth on BBC Radio Humberside – Thursday 18th March

Kevin was interviewed on the morning show and took the presenter through the highs and lows of bizarre items left behind by tenants when they vacate rental properties; from an elephant’s foot to cans of gravy. She also questioned him about the strangest thing he’s ever left behind; it’s definitely worth a listen. Check it out on BBC iPlayer (the interview is approx. 1hr 45 minutes in to the show).