According to recent data released by the Ministry of Housing, the average time it is taking to return deposits is between 29 and 37 days regardless of whether the money is due back to the landlord or tenant.
These long delays continue despite the various tenancy reforms that have passed into housing law of late, reforms that have been designed to protect tenants and their funds.
Danny Zane, chair for The AIIC and MD of My Property Inventories states: “It’s quite unbelievable that with the amazing deposit protection & dispute services and new reforms in place it is still taking so long for all parties to be financially satisfied.”
He continues: “We strongly believe that aside from the many benefits of a solid, unbiased and 3rd party report, making sure an inventory report is in place at the start and then the finish of the tenancy will dramatically reduce deposit return times.”
It makes it so much tougher for a tenant to be able to move whilst having to raise the funds for a further deposit required for the new tenancy.
Zane states: “Deposit return times being as long as 37 days for a tenant to get their money back is crippling for many. This makes life very difficult for many millions of tenants and their families in a day and age where we are set on improving life for tenants.”
We can really work these times down to reasonable periods with the use of mandatory unbiased inventory reporting at both ends of the tenancy agreement. These provide the solid written and photographic evidence that leave no room for dispute over deposit deductions or full deposit refunds”.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and local Government will shortly be shifting through the replies from the tenancy reform consultation they have recently carried out within the property sector. The tenancy reform consultation is looking to remove issues within the lettings processes as well as making sure it works for everyone involved. They have been looking at improving the tenancy deposit returns process with systems such as the much discussed tenancy passporting which is the system of the deposit being transferred from the first to the second landlord without first being returned to the tenant.