BLOG: ‘Unfair practices by some ‘alternative deposit’ products must be banned’

5
1016
ben grech reposits deposits rental landlords

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to probe five different activities involving landlords and letting agents, and their responsibilities to private tenants, with deposit alternative products as an area of focus.

As one of only two FCA-regulated providers within the UK, Reposit is all too aware of the unfair practices that some operators have unfortunately been allowed to continue. 

We want to see unfair practices banned but also a recognition that deposit alternative products are efficient and help create a more competitive market that improves consumer outcomes. Equally, we’d like to see the deficiencies of the cash schemes examined.   

Fair amounts

We see that, for the most part, landlords claim fair amounts and tenants pay what they owe. After six years of operation, our data shows 56% of tenancies end without any charges for the tenant to pay, while 14% of tenancies end with tenants owing more than five weeks’ rent (the maximum usually allowed from cash deposits).

Five weeks’ rent is not enough protection for landlords if things occasionally go wrong and it’s unnecessary, and even inequitable, to require all tenants to lock up a large cash deposit.

So how can landlords secure the right protection without tenants paying more upfront? This cannot be achieved with cash. However, our product solves the tenant affordability issue while ensuring landlords are fairly and properly protected with up to eight weeks’ rent – 60% more cover than cash schemes. 

At the end of tenancy, any unfair charges can be disputed, while formal disputes are independently adjudicated and settled within 14 days. 

Locked away

Cash schemes are purportedly ‘free’ and protect tenants from unfair charges, while creating a more affordable and equitable rental market. Yet we believe there are two issues: they’re not equitable and are not free. With the Bank of England base rate at 5.25%, over £200 million per year is generated in interest on the £4.5 billion locked away in cash deposits – money which could be released into the economy. 

The CMA’s mission statement is to ‘Make markets work well in the interests of consumers, businesses and the economy’ and we’re therefore confident it will determine deposit alternatives are pro-consumer choice and promote a healthy market. 

  • Ben Grech is CEO at Reposit.

5 COMMENTS

  1. They may be pro-choice but they are also more expensive for tenants, who often don’t realise they STILL have to pay for any damage they do!

    • So are many tenants – parasites on the benefits system and trash houses but hey! There’s good and bad everywhere and a lot of people who are just plain envious of anyone who has something they’ve not got.

      • Landlords directly leech from families and prevent them from ever owning a place of their own for sheer greed.

        Benefit claimants claim benefits so that they don’t starve. There is a key difference.

        Landlords are worthless scum and should be treated as such.

  2. Wait until you have to live in a Unite style £400 pw box –
    If individual landlords are scum, what are the corporates who will pile in, instead?
    Who do you think will really benefit big time?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here