A win on deposits and one step closer to regulating landlords

The letting fees ban is great and all, but now fees are out of the way, you still have to scrape together a large deposit before you can move home.

Well, we thought about that - last year we proposed a system where you could transfer part of your deposit to your next tenancy, once you'd done responsible things like pay your final month's rent. We called this deposit passporting.

We couldn't get it into the Tenant Fees Act (which came into force this month), but the government has been looking at it and today announced its support for deposit passporting!

Two in every three private renters have no savings, so you might face having to borrow money in order to move, or find yourself stuck in an unsuitable home.

New alternative schemes have emerged recently to reduce initial costs, but unlike deposits, payments are non-refundable so tenants who use them lose money in the long run.

Instead you should be able to access your money that is currently tied up in a protection scheme. With average fees at £404, and the average deposit now £1000, deposit passporting has the potential to reduce the cost of moving by even more than the letting fees ban.

As ever, the government will be announcing a “call for evidence” before anything happens, but this is another victory for Generation Rent and we’ll be holding the government to its word.

Another important bit of news this week was the recommendation by the government’s advisers on landlord licensing to bring in a national landlord registration scheme. This would help in a lot of ways, including:

  • more ability for councils to identify landlords who are breaking the law (if they’re not registered then there’s a strong chance they aren’t treating their tenants well)
  • better collection of tax on rental income
  • letting tenants avoid unregistered landlords
  • stopping criminals from becoming landlords in the first place
  • regulating the growing holiday lets market

A poorly maintained home can cause all sorts of health problems – so it is completely inappropriate to allow just anyone to set up business in the rental market. We need to know who we’re renting from and that they’re responsible – if you agree, please sign our petition.


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Individual Advice

Generation Rent can’t offer advice about individual problems. Here are a few organisations that can:

You might also find quick but informal help on ACORN’s Facebook forum, and there are more suggestions on The Renters Guide.