MPs’ Call for Deposit Cap Could Encourage Rent Cheats

A five-week cap for deposits paid by tenants has been called for by MPs, however there are worries that such a move will provide opportunities for rent cheats.

Newspaper The Sun has written about a leaked copy of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s report into the Government’s Draft Tenant Fees Bill, causing much concern for how the suggested proposal may be abused in the future.

The Sun has reported that the Committee of MPs will suggest that deposits should have a cap of five weeks rent, a reduction on the original six weeks proposed by the Government.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has released results from recent research stating that 40% of private landlords in the past three years have been in the situation where their tenants would not pay their final month’s rent.

MPs’ Call for Deposit Cap Could Encourage Rent Cheats

MPs’ Call for Deposit Cap Could Encourage Rent Cheats

It has been considered that lowering the cap could provide an easy way for the minority of tenants who would possibly withhold their final month’s rent to cheat their landlords. There would be less funds set aside to fix any damage or mess that such tenants leave behind.

Alan Ward, Chair of the RLA has commented: “Policy makers need to address the problem of tenants who fail to pay their rent with as much energy as tackling rogue landlords. Proposals to lower the cap on deposits paid by tenants will play into the hands of the minority of tenants who cheat those providing housing for them out of the rent they are legitimately owed.

It has also been reported that the Committee of MPs plan to reinforce the law that prevents unjust landlords from evicting tenants who have asked for repairs to be made to their property. This is already illegal under the 2015 Deregulation Act, but it is believed by some that more should be done to ensure it is adhered to.

Ward also said: “We see also little point in calling for new powers to prevent landlords evicting tenants simply for raising complaints about standards in properties when powers already exist to outlaw this practice. What is needed is not new law but councils better enforcing the large array of powers they already have to root out bad landlords and tenants.”

The RLA has proposed this cap should be extended to eight weeks. By increasing it, they believe this will cover any extra costs in the event of the final month’s rent not being paid.

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