Deposit protection legislation coming into force today is a ‘step in the right direction’, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
Tenancy deposits taken before April 6 2007 must now be protected as part of the Deregulation Act.
From today, these deposits must be protected with one of the three government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes, my|deposits, The Deposit Protection Service and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Any landlords holding unprotected deposits after today could face a hefty fine.
One of the three deposit protection schemes, my|deposits, estimates that over 300,000 existing tenancies across the UK will be affected by the new rules.
The organisation also reported that 48 per cent of landlords struggle to keep up with changes in legislation which, it says, could exacerbate the issue and put landlords at risk of being fined.
“my|deposits’ figure that almost half of landlords struggle to keep up with changes in legislation comes as no surprise to us and it is important for all agents and landlords to work together to ensure that all required deposits are now protected,” says Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC.
She says that the new legislation is the latest positive step towards raising standards in the professional lettings sector.
“Since it became mandatory in 2007, deposit protection has been a huge success for the industry. And now, as the number of tenancies continues to grow and the amount of money being taken in deposits continues to increase, it remains a vital component of the modern rental process,” Barber adds.
“The AIIC welcomes any positive changes to legislation and are extremely proud to be one of the main organisations helping to raise professional standards within the lettings industry.”