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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


Do I really need a deposit?


Do I really need a deposit

In brief a deposit is a sum of money paid by the tenant as a security against potential damage or unpaid rent.
Deposits are a major issue in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) and should be dealt with as seriously as you would treat tenancy agreements and gas safety records.

Do I really need a deposit?

We say a strong “yes”. There are some landlords who do not ask for a deposit, but they are laying themselves open to risk and often are only waiving the deposit out of desperation. Paying a deposit is also a sign of commitment – it helps attract a better calibre of tenant.

How much deposit should I ask for?

This will vary. We ask for two months’ rent for furnished properties and six weeks’ for unfurnished. We have tried many different amounts over the years and we believe that our current deposit requirements strike the right balance between protecting the landlord’s interests and being realistic for incoming tenants.

How do I register the deposit?

Since 6 April 2007 deposits must be registered in a government-approved scheme within 30 days of receiving the funds. The reason for this is to protect tenants from unethical landlords withholding their deposits without reason. This is good, common-sense legislation which has helped the PRS become more professional.

Why can’t I keep the deposit during the tenancy?

Do not be tempted to ignore this legislation. If you do not register the deposit with one of the three approved schemes (MyDeposits, TDS, DPS), then a court can order you to pay the tenant up to three times the deposit within 14 days.

This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.