Tenancy Deposit Solutions has revealed its tariff for agents who join its tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Fees will be payable by agents on a pay-as-you-go basis. A one-off joining fee is required per branch in order to set up an account, 100 for members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, National Association of Estate Agents, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the National Approved Letting Scheme and the UK Association of Letting Agents, and 150 for non-members of these organisations.
An annual renewal fee per branch is also required, 50 for members and 75 for non-members.
A fee is required for each deposit, and agents will only pay this fee once, regardless of how long they hold the deposit. In respect of joint tenancies, agents will only have to pay one fee to cover the total deposit.
The deposit fee is 20 for members and 30 for non-members, as applies to the administrative fees. There is no limit to the number of deposits that an individual member of the scheme can protect.
In many cases it will be a deposit that an agent holds on behalf of a landlord that is protected by the scheme. After April 6 tenants will still pay deposits to the agent. The agent will hold the deposit and notify the scheme administrator that they have the deposit and that it should be protected.
David Salusbury, chairman of TDS, says: Agents, just like landlords, should not bury their heads in the sand. These fees are very modest and are certainly a great deal cheaper than the penalties that can be imposed for failing to join a scheme.
A court can order a landlord to pay to the tenant three times the amount of the deposit in question if that deposit has not been protected. With the average deposit being nearly 600 that could amount to 1,800 for every single unprotected deposit.