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Rumoured deposit cap reduction angers landlords

Two trade bodies for landlords have reacted angrily to suggestions that tenancy deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent, instead of six, under new rules.

A report in The Sun suggests that housing secretary James Brokenshire has won a cabinet battle to implement the new cap. The move will reduce the maximum number of weeks’ rent a landlord can charge tenants as a deposit from six to five.

Residential Landlords Association policy director David Smith says: “If this is true, landlords will feel badly let down by a government which says it wants to support good landlords. The government had accepted that a cap of six weeks was the minimum many landlords required. This is needed to address the problem of tenants who fail to pay the last month’s rent and leave a property damaged.

“Ministers claim that they want to cut the cost of renting yet this is another measure the government is taking that will further cut the number of landlords and properties available as demand continues to rise, so actually driving up rents up.”

National Landlords Association chief executive officer Richard Lambert says: “A six-week cap is the lowest landlords find acceptable. Does the government really not realise that if landlords don’t think the deposit covers the risk of damage or unpaid rent, they will be even more cautious about who they let to?

“All this will do is make it harder for tenants with poor credit ratings or who want to have a pet to find a suitable home. This is clearly a political move aimed at the renters’ vote. It is not a policy for business.”

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