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Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government have taken to encourage landlords of student accommodation to sign up to the tenancy deposit protection Scheme; and what further plans she has to encourage such landlords to sign up to the scheme. (160203)

The Department has a publicity and awareness campaign for the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme specifically aimed at students. The campaign was developed in close association with large student accommodation providers and the National Union of Students. TDP has been promoted to students on campuses, in student bars and in public areas, and supported by advertising via ATM machines and on student accommodation websites.

Direct marketing to students at 30 universities in England and Wales started in September 2007, led by students themselves. This encompasses distributing leaflets and posters, information on student blogging websites, web forums and direct information to letting agents offering student accommodation. It is intended that this activity will raise awareness with newly arrived students. This activity is ongoing and will be prominently repeated in January 2008, the peak time when students start searching for private rented property for the autumn term. Such awareness will equip students to know when to tackle their landlords if they believe they have failed to protect their deposits.

National and regional landlord organisations, as well as landlord forums and accreditation schemes run by local authorities, have an active role to play in ensuring that the message is disseminated to landlords. Reputable letting agents are aware of the new requirements and are responsible for ensuring that their landlord clients comply with the legislation.