Government deposit U-turn shows neglect of landlord and tenant needs

Article Posted -
05 Dec 2018

Landlords and tenants have been let down by the Governments latest decision to cut its deposit cap from six to five weeks, further impacting tenant’s ability to find a home to rent. 

Released today, a list of amendments for the Tenant Fees Bill tabled by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth and Lord Kennedy of Southwark will undercut the six week minimum deposit cap . This reckless move could force more landlords out of the market and will  further reduce the supply of desperately needed homes available for rent. 

As well as reducing supply for tenants, the move will only push up rents and make it harder for tenants deemed higher risk, such as those with pets, to find a home in the private rented sector.  

While the initial proposal was a four-week cap, the Government, until recently, supported our position, arguing in a statement released earlier this year: “A cap of six weeks’ rent offers greater affordability benefits to tenants whilst minimising the financial risk to landlords and allowing them greater flexibility to accept higher risk tenants such as those with pets. 

“We can see the benefits of a cap at five weeks’ rent in terms of improved tenant affordability, but a cap of six weeks’ rent could better support both landlords and tenants by giving landlords greater financial flexibility.” 

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the National Landlords Association said: “A six-week cap is the lowest landlords find acceptable. 

“Does the government really not realise that if landlords don’t think the deposit covers the risk of damage or unpaid rent, they will be even more cautious about who they let to? 

“All this will do is make it harder for tenants with poor credit ratings or who want to have a pet to find a suitable home. 

“This is clearly a political move aimed at the renters’ vote. It is not a policy for business.” 

The Tenant Fees Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons and is nearing its final stages of consideration in the House of Lords. 

Read more NLA coverage on the bill here and here

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