Tenants – have you really protected your deposit?…

AK_3_MIKE_WHITE.jpgThe Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme may not have everything covered, as Mike White, of lettings agents Martin & Co states.

When the law changed two years ago and we saw the advent of Tenant Deposit Protection, tenants were able to breathe a little easier knowing that finally they had a means of disputing unfair deductions from their security deposit.

But does this give you all the protection you need? The answer is a resounding “No”. He says, While the law now makes it a lot harder for unscrupulous landlords to use the deposit as an extra money maker, what about the genuine deductions for accidental damages to a landlords property? The extreme example, but a valid one nonetheless, you accidentally nudge your car into your landlord’s garage door causing £800 worth of damage. Irrespective of whether or not the landlord has insurance cover, the responsibility is yours – read your tenancy agreement, it’ll be in the small print! Even a minor accident, the classic spilling a glass of red wine over a carpet can have quite expensive consequences.

So how do you fully protect your deposit?  There’s a very simple solution and that is when you insure your own contents make sure you buy a policy that automatically includes cover for the landlord’s property as standard. We are blessed that Norwich is a relatively low cost city for property insurance purposes so to buy a policy with this extra cover is only going to be slightly dearer than buying a regular contents policy.

When buying tenants’ contents cover look carefully at what’s included. To make certain you get the right cover, ask your letting agent – they will have access to suitable policies. Yes they will be slightly more expensive than say a standard policy bought from a supermarket or on-line but can you afford the alternative?

If the average security deposit for Norwich lettings is around the £700 to £900 mark, two ostensibly minor accidents could wipe that out and we all know accidents come in threes……………….

*For more information contact Mike White at Martin & Co on 01603 766860 or at 13 St Giles Street.

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