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More than 1.5 million UK renters are at risk of losing deposits

One third of renters know that their landlord has not placed their money into a government-backed deposit protection scheme (DPS), research from comparethemarket.com has found.

Despite the legal obligation which requires landlords to put deposits into schemes such as the DPS, polling also shows that a further third (35 percent) of renters do not know the whereabouts of their down payment.

 

The research also reveals that it has become commonplace for landlords to deduct money from tenants’ deposits, as almost one fifth (18 percent) claim to have had money taken from their deposit when leaving a property.

 

Some landlords can be slow to respond to renter requests, with almost one third (30 percent) reporting that they need to chase their landlord when a problem requires fixing. A further one in ten (12 percent) claim that they have to make repeated efforts before receiving a response.

 

Almost one in ten (nine percent) tenants say that it can take between a fortnight and a month for an issue at their property to be resolved. However, in these cases the landlord is not always at fault, as barriers to access could account for some of these problems, as over one in ten (14 percent) renters must go through their letting agency in order to contact their landlord.

 

Nonetheless, disengagement with responsibilities seems to affect both landlords and tenants, as research reveals renters to be a worryingly underinsured demographic. Over one third (36 percent) do not have contents insurance policies in place which offer protection against burglaries theft and damage.

 

Younger people are the least likely to take out any insurance, with almost half (46 percent) of 18-34 year-olds failing to take out a contents insurance policy. Over one third (35 percent) of 18-24 year-olds admit to not knowing who is responsible for taking out their contents insurance policy and over one in ten (11 percent) of those questioned, admitted to not reading their contract thoroughly.

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