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Landlords (Retained Deposits)

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many actions have been initiated by trading standards officers against companies which have unfairly retained deposits paid on student accommodation; (75887)

(2) what estimate he has made of the amount of money unlawfully retained by companies from deposits on student accommodation in the past 12 months;

(3) what steps he is taking to encourage action against companies which unlawfully retain deposits paid by students who have rented student accommodation.

I have been asked to reply.

The Government are committed to ensuring that where tenants pay a deposit to their landlord in good faith it will be returned at the end of the tenancy, providing the tenant does not cause any damage or theft to the property. Provisions contained in Part 6 of the Housing Act 2004 will make it a requirement that any landlord who offers assured shorthold tenancies and wishes to take a monetary deposit must safeguard that deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS).

The Department does not hold information on the actions of trading standards officers or the level of deposits that may have been withheld by landlords.