11 April 2012

Survey suggests tenants unaware of deposit schemes and landlords think they're biased

A recent telephone survey conducted by digital inventory system Imfuna Let suggests that all landlords feel that the government's Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is designed exclusively in the tenants favour and less than half of the tenants surveyed are even aware that such schemes exist!
Infuma conducted interviews over the phone with 1000 tenants; 100 landlords owning 20 or more properties and 50 letting agents this past February.

Amazingly, non of the landlords surveyed felt that the TDS scheme is designed in their favour 20 per cent of letting agents felt that the scheme favoured landlords and 52 per cent felt they favoured tenants. 22% of the agents felt that the schemes benefit ‘neither party'. Nearly half of the agents and 30 per cent of landlords reported that they settled disputes privately, without the aid of TDS. Imfuna creator Jax Kneppers feels that the survey presents "a picture of landlord disenchantment" and that there is work to be done to "democratise the inventory process and ensure that everyone involved feels they are supported in equal measure.”

These statistics follow the announcement of the Localism Act which came into effect on April 6th.
As a result of the Act landlords now have a "30 day absolute deadline" to register deposits and face stiff fines of up to three times the size of the deposit if it is not registered in accord with the new guidelines. The Act will also see landlords unable to seek possession of their property until the penalty is settled.

However almost half of landlords surveyed admit to having never had a dispute with a tenant over a deposit and a quarter of letting agents reinforce this perception. The majority of tenants - those who are aware of the scheme - believe they provide a fair resolution when disagreements arise.
Kneppers believes that his technology can "make the difference in deposit disputes":
The new April 6th ruling places an even greater emphasis on adhering to tenancy deposit schemes regulations. A comprehensive and robust inventory will help arm landlords with the necessary information and ensure they aren’t further penalised when it comes to the check-in / check-out process.

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