LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

TDS cuts membership rates for third successive year

TDS cuts membership rates for third successive year

In its latest annual review published, The Dispute Service, the company behind TDS, TDS Northern Ireland and SafeDeposits Scotland, has revealed strong results.

According to the report, covering 2012/2013, membership fees were reduced for a third consecutive year in England and Wales, aided by the company’s not for profit status.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme now protects deposits worth £1bn for over 2,500 letting agent members, and 14,000 members of a landlord scheme launched in 2012.

The report also shows that letting agents and landlords have increased their share of disputed deposits to just over half (52.8%).

TDS adjudicated in 8,948 deposit disputes, out-performing the government-set target of 95% of disputes adjudicated in 28 days. Cleaning remained the biggest cause of dispute, arising in 56% of cases.

TDS chief executive Steve Harriott said: “TDS has again published an outstanding set of results. For a third consecutive year, we have reduced costs to members and improved an already award-winning service.

“The coming year will see further developments including a new online evidence platform and live online chat with our customer contact centre.

“Working with our member user forum and e-consultation network keeps us in touch with what TDS members think, and plays an important part in improving the scheme.”

Professor Martin Partington, chair of TDS, said:“I am delighted that TDS has produced another strong set of financial results.

“What continues to set TDS apart is its outstanding customer service and work to help the industry reap the benefits of tenancy deposit protection.

“Better quality dispute evidence provided by agents is an indicator of how projects like TDS Academy are contributing to best practice in lettings, and awareness campaigns for tenants are helping them understand what their landlord should or should not be doing.”

This is the first year in operation of SafeDeposits Scotland, while TDS also launched Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland, both of which are claimed to be the largest schemes in their respective markets.