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60 Seconds With…Eddie Hooker

EDDIE HOOKER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MYDEPOSITS

What impact has the tenancy deposit protection scheme had on the private rental sector?

The impact has been revolutionary. Before the legislation was introduced, figures from the government and tenant groups claimed that up to 20%of all tenancies ended with a dispute over the return of deposits. Three years on this figure, based on our experience and statistics, has reduced to under 2%.

What do you see happening in the private rental sector over the next 12 months?

With the difficulty in accessing mortgage finance, I see the rental market becoming stronger. My worry is that demand is outstripping supply at an increasing pace, which could lead to a potential problem developing with rent arrears and disputes over tenants’ deposits. Bankers need to release more capital to allow professional landlords to purchase more stock – there’s clearly a demand.

What is the proudest moment of your career?

Setting up Mydeposits, a tenancy deposit scheme, from the ground up and seeing it grow to what it has become today. We started three and a half years ago with no blueprint or model to copy, and the learning curve was steep. It’s incredible to think that we recently protected our one millionth deposit.

If you weren’t in financial services what would you be doing?

No idea – this is all I’ve known for the past 25 years. When I was much younger I was in an 1980s pop group. We made one record, it flopped and I went to work in insurance. I won’t tell you the name of the group in case anyone tries to find the record. Perhaps I would have persevered with my music career and ended up on The X Factor as a judge.

Do you have any secret talents?

Carrying on from the last question, I am a drummer. I play about twice a month in a local amateur rock and roll band playing all the old numbers from the 1960s and 1970s. At 43 I’m one of the youngest members of the band and all the guys are fantastic musicians. It’s great fun and a great release.

What book are you reading?

Lord Alan Sugar’s autobiography. It’s interesting to discover that all the great entrepreneurs experience the same types of ups and downs. But with dedication, a great team and a bit of luck, they all succeed in the end.

Interview by Christine Toner

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