More competition in tenancy deposit schemes welcomed by minister

More competition in tenancy deposit schemes welcomed by minister

Housing minister Mark Prisk has said that more competition in deposit protection schemes should mean that more tenants become aware of their rights.

Answering a question in the Commons from a Labour MP about what steps Prisk’s department is taking to make tenants aware of deposit protections schemes, Prisk said he was expecting increased publicity from providers.

He said: “It is a requirement of my Department’s service concession agreements with the tenancy deposit protection scheme providers that they carry out publicity and marketing activities, aimed at tenants as well as landlords. There will be increased publicity following the recent launch of two new schemes in April this year, both from the new schemes in order to attract members, but also from the existing schemes in light of the additional competition.”

One of the new schemes is an insurance-backed offering from the Deposit Protection Service. The other new scheme has been launched by Capita.

Due to a glitch on LAT when we carried this story on Tuesday – for which apologies – some of you may not have seen the news about Capita's entry. Here is a shortened form of the article.

Capita has launched a new insured tenancy deposit scheme which has been approved by the Government

Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) will offer dispute resolution services via an existing ombudsman scheme, Ombudsman Services, and becomes the fourth provider in England and Wales.

The partnership with Ombudsman Services, rather than the prices – which are competitive – looks to be the real USP. In the past, there have been problems when an agent who has used an insured scheme has done a bunk with deposit money, potentially leaving any membership body concerned to slug it out with the insurers of the tenancy deposit scheme as to which would fork out.

Capita’s prices start from £15 per tenancy for landlords and £9.50 for ‘regulated’ letting agents who belong to NALS, RICS, NAEA, Law Society or UKALA. The cost for unaffiliated agents is £30 per tenancy.The charges look to be highly competitive and undercut some of the existing rates charged by other schemes.

Gareth Kings, managing director of Capita TDP, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: “Capita is pleased to be able to offer landlords and letting agents a new choice of deposit protection service which will give tenants peace of mind.

“Building upon our proven track record in both the property and insurance sectors, we hope to bring a fresh approach to deposit protection, providing a simpler, cost-effective solution for protecting tenants’ deposits.

“As part of our service we will also be offering landlords, agents and tenants help and guidance on how to foster good relationships and minimise deposit-related disputes.”

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