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New rules cover 450,000 tenancies.

HALF a billion pounds in tenants' deposits has been safeguarded by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme since deposit protection and Alternative Dispute Resolution became mandatory.

By March 1, the scheme covered nearly 450,000 tenancies, housing close on 700,000 tenants in property owned by 335,000 landlords. These figures are reported to be rising by an average 7.5 per cent a month.

In 2007, an average of 127 disputes a month were resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution - more than double the number handled under voluntary deposit protection.

Lawrence Greenberg, chief executive of The Dispute Service, which runs the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, said: "Obviously we are very pleased with our success but we are very well aware that Tenancy Deposit Protection is a new concept for the public, landlords and tenants, and their letting agents.

"We are doing everything we can to make our web-based systems easy to use for agents who are responsible for protecting the rights and money due to both tenants and landlords."

In February, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme introduced a web-based education programme for its members. This is designed as a day-to-day aid that can also be used for in-house training programmes for letting agents and corporate landlords.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 22, 2008
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