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.