Less time to complain about deposit disputes from April
By Simon Thompson
Landlords and tenants will have less time to take disputes to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme from April.
From April 6, any disputes arising from tenancy agreements covered by the TDS starting on or after that date will have to go to adjudication within three months of the date the tenancy ends.
Tenancies in place before April 6, 2011 – even if they are renewed or extended after April 6– will still qualify for the current six month deadline.
Other administrative rules are changing – like how long deposits are protected when TDS membership ends for a landlord or letting agent.
TDS say the changes bring the scheme in line with other deposit protection schemes.
Chief Executive Steve Harriott said: “These changes may appear relatively minor but they concern every landlord, tenant and agent and the mandatory obligations. We wanted to ensure that they were clear and easily workable for everyone. To achieve this, the work of the Members Forum has been invaluable.”
NALS agents sign up for kitemark safeguard
Meanwhile, letting agents who have initiated their own kitemark scheme to safeguard tenant deposits from unscrupulous firms that have closed or misappropriated client money have been joined by the membership of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS).
The NALS is an umbrella group whose members agree to implement higher professional standards through their letting businesses.
NALS chair Caroline Pickering said: “It makes complete sense that letting agents should get the added value for money that this single distinctive kitemark will give. Consumers should make their decision on who to place their business with based on the protection that they get, should anything go wrong.
“This kitemark will help to point them in the right direction, and as a consumer focused organisation we are delighted to have been asked to help the agents get this off the ground. We believe this is a very positive move for the sector.”
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