Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Who's afraid of the TDS?

Rummaging in Google's news pages recently I came upon an interesting report which indicates that landlords are so worried about the pending tenancy deposit scheme (being introduced under the Housing Act 2004) that they have decided to continue to pay letting agents to manage their properties for them, rather than go it alone. The article concludes that this is an unforseen effect of the new law, and suggests that the increasing regulation and bureaucracy may result in landlords leaving the private rented sector altogether. Not something I suspect that the government will want.

Of course this trend might also be because landlords think that they will have to use an agent. A recent questioner to my Q&A page on my website seemed to think that she would only be able to comply with the new laws by using an agency. I am sure that this is a view which many agents would like to encourage! However it is not correct - the new schemes will have to be available for both landlords letting in person and those letting via agents.

In fact a little bird has told me that this might be causing problems, in that none of the companies who have tendered to run the scheme have satisfied the government's requirements in this respect, which means that it is possible that they may not be able to introduce the scheme in October, as intended, after all. However 1 October is still clearly given as the start date on the ODPM website, so we will have to see what happens.

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