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Last week it was announced that the government is looking at a scheme that could allow renters to transfer security deposits directly between landlords instead of having to pay up for their next property while waiting for a refund on the last.
The Housing Secretary James Brokenshire touted “deposit passporting” as a way of tackling a problem facing renters today who typically need five weeks’ rent to fund a deposit but have the cash tied up with their existing landlord.
According to the proposals Passporting would allow a direct transfer of funds from the previous landlord to the new one on the day of the move and could be topped up by the tenant if necessary to pay for damages etc.
While we as Get Living support the principle — addressing what we know to be one of renters’ main gripes — there will need to be some considerable ironing out of the detail. How, for example, will those living in shared properties be able to withdraw their portion of a deposit held on behalf of the entire household? What sounds like a simple and straight forward process could be more hassle for renters if the T&Cs aren’t clear.
Our stance is that we need to push the sector further on deposits.
While it is undoubtedly better to pay one rather than two deposits, we continue to champion deposit-free renting as we strive to building trust between us as a landlord and our customers.
There are very few other areas of life where we see our money tied up in this way – hotels and car hire companies, for example, hold money on a card but do not charge unless necessary.
At Get Living, we scrapped security deposits two years ago and have never looked back.
As well as removing the hassle and financial strain of security deposits it’s shown our residents that we trust them to look after their homes, and they do.
We only charge for post-tenancy damages if they amount to over a week’s rent. As our residents’ rental payments help build their credit scores, they understand that this will be affected by any missed payments.
As the largest operator in our sector we have the scale to do this and our ambition is that others will continue to follow. For growing numbers of UK renters, we need to be taking the hassle out and the trust back in to renting.