Rented sector awaits clarification

Posted: 21 Jul 2006 10:03:40 GMT

            Property News - Rented sector awaits clarification

The government has been instructed to "make things happen" regarding the forthcoming tenancy deposit scheme, after it was revealed it will be delayed until April 2007.

Originally planned for October 2006, the scheme has been designed to prevent dishonest landlords from withholding deposits and bonds without good reason.

It formed part of the Housing Act of 2004 and property experts had hoped it would hugely improve standards in the rented sector. The delay, therefore, has generated a significant amount of frustration among experts.

Liz Phelps, housing policy officer at Citizens Advice, commented: "This will be over two years since the legislation came in, and it's just taken the government much too long in our view to actually get everything set up."

Conversely, Ms Phelps is also conscious of the fact that the system must have been carefully considered by the time it is introduced to prevent any abuses and to protect against basic flaws.

It is a view shared by Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Dan Rogerson MP, who believes that the delay will give the government time to address "the serious concerns that many tenants, landlords and letting agents have expressed".

He added: "We must be clear, however, that the scheme cannot be delayed beyond next April. Nine months is plenty of time for the Government to iron out the problems, and if the scheme is not in place before next year's local elections then it may lead to yet more delays."

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