Letting agents and landlords have unfairly deducted money from the deposits of 2.34 million tenants or 16% of the UK’s renters, it has been claimed.
Student lettings website SPCE, which started up last year and claims to have a 50,000 strong property inventory and deals with six universities in the UK, says its research among 2,000 tenants revealed that the problem was even worse among younger renters, who are less likely to know their rights.
A quarter of younger tenants and 30% of students had seen their deposits returned with “unfair” deductions, it is claimed, while only 18% of all tenants have successfully challenged attempted deductions from their deposits by a letting agents or landlord.
The research also reveals that many tenants lose a part of their deposits because of damage done by fellow housemates, or because of a problem created before they moved in but, presumably, not spotted when the move-in inventory was completed.
The research follows figures published last year that revealed that landlords and agents took £1 billion from deposits, according to rental property interiors firm Hillarys.
Leon Ifayemi, CEO and co-founder of SPCE (pictured, left), commented on the findings: “With rent prices at record highs, the financial demands placed on tenants looking to secure a property has never been greater.
“More should be done to increase awareness of the frameworks in place for those seeking to challenge unfair attempts to take money from a tenancy deposit – this is a legal right that cannot be ignored, with students as well as young people generally clearly requiring greater support and education as to their tenant rights.”