Deposits: Everything You Need to Know About
Have you ever had troubles with an annoying homeowner or letting agent?
If so, you are not alone. Basically, many renters have had similar experiences.
Consequently, it is important for you to understand your rights.
You need to be fully informed about things that can affect you as a tenant.
Check out the following tips for tenants.
What is deposit protection?
Notably, there is an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which started after April 6, 2007.
An AST is a very popular kind of tenancy.
Resultantly, it covers the majority of new tenancies.
If your rent is based on this AST, you should know about deposit protection.
It is important for your landlord to use a deposit protection scheme for storing your security deposit.
In 2007, the government launched the deposit protection schemes.
The major target of the scheme is to safeguard renters.
It allows them to be able to obtain their rightful properties when leaving a rental home.
Nevertheless, the tenant must not violate the tenancy agreement while living in the unit.
Violation usually includes destroying the property or failing to pay bills or rent.
A tenancy cannot fall into an AST category if:
- It started or was signed before January 15, 1989
- The annual rent is over £100,000
- If the annual rent is below £250. In London, below £1,000
- The house owner serves as a local council
- It is used as a holiday home
Details of deposit scheme
In Wales and England, we have three major deposit schemes.
These schemes are:
- Deposit Protection Service
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
In Ireland and Scotland, there are other types of deposit schemes.
Generally, there are two forms of tenancy deposit schemes:
- The scheme stores the deposit for free
It is called a custodial scheme. Basically, the scheme does not charge for keeping the deposit.
- The renter or agency pays the scheme to ensure the deposit
This form is called an insured scheme. Here, the agency or tenant pays a certain amount to ensure the deposit.
After paying the deposit, the homeowner or agent keeps it in the scheme.
They must do this within 30 days of signing the tenancy agreement.
Also, the depositor must give the tenant information about the scheme used.
When moving out, renters should ask the homeowner or agent about their deposit.
In general, the tenant will get the deposit back.
Sometimes, the agency or landlord may not respond within 10 days.
So, you can also get in touch with the scheme directly.
Normally, the scheme can release the deposit directly to the tenant.
However, if there is an ongoing dispute on the deposit.
Usually, this is because of owed rent or property damages.
In such a case, the scheme will hold the deposit until the parties resolve the issues.
How much can the increase in my rent be?
It is possible for your rent to be reviewed.
However, information on it must be on your tenancy agreement.
The type of tenancy you are operating determines when the rent can increase.
For a fixed term, the rent can only change at the end of the fixed term.
For a periodic tenancy, they can increase rent once a year irrespective of the agreement.
However, there is a need for a rent increase to be fair and realistic.
In other words, it must suit what is obtainable for other rents in the same area.
Nevertheless, it is possible for your landlord to increase rent unreasonably.
If you believe that is the case, apply for a Housing Tribunal.
A Housing Tribunal is an independent NGO that will check your complaint.
It will also consider the complaints of your landlord, if available.
Then, it will compare the rent to the rents of similar properties in the area.
Furthermore, we advise you to get legal advice before contacting a Housing Tribunal.
You can contact us at Reneza to get help.
Can private tenants get housing benefits?
Private renters can qualify to get housing benefits.
However, such tenants cannot get enough to cover their full rent.
The local housing allowance (LHA) determines the maximum amount that your household can get.
The number of bedrooms you are able to claim will affect the LHA.
Currently, five bands of LHA exist.
Also, they have varying rates based on your specific location.
Are you single and below 35 without a dependent child?
You have can use the shared accommodation rate.
Irrespective of if you are sharing your rental or not, you can still get it.
Furthermore, there are other factors that affect how much you can get.
These factors include your employment status and salary.
If the benefit cap affects you, then it also affects how much you can get.
Finally, if you share your rent and the person contributes to rent, this will also affect the amount you can get.
What can I do if I am having issues with paying my rent?
Sometimes, you may have difficulty with paying your rent.
Generally, your homeowner can seek legal assistance for your eviction.
However, in such a case, communicate with your agency or homeowner.
Notably, this can be very difficult.
Nevertheless, it is possible for you to reach an agreement with your homeowner.
This is better than avoiding or ignoring your agency or landlord.
Also, you can talk to a specialist organization to help you.
The organization can provide advice and other supports.
They will consider your financial difficulties.
If possible, you might get some forms of financial help.
Universal Credit housing costs or housing benefits are available for low-income earners.
Similarly, it is possible that you are receiving state benefits and still having issues with rent.
In such conditions, you could get assistance from a discretionary housing payment (DHP).
Your local council disburses this type of payment.
Therefore, contact your local council if you are having this problem.
Need any real estate assistance?
If yes, speak to us today at Reneza.
We are your trustworthy real estate solution providers.