Communications News: Shelter and Citizens Advice call for safe rent deposit funds

Shelter and Citizens Advice have revived their six-year old campaign to include a statutory national tenancy deposit scheme in the Housing Bill.

The scheme calls for all rental deposits to go into an independent fund to enable disputes over deposits to be resolved locally. The scheme would be self-financed through interest generated by the money held.

Citizens Advice published Mori poll figures last week that showed 24 per cent of private tenants who had paid a rent deposit in the past five years had not had it all returned. Of those, only 14 per cent felt their landlord's decision was justified.

The figures were used to complement the amendment tabled by Des Turner MP, when it was discussed by MPs last week.

David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "It is time this scandal was ended. Many people don't even give a proper reason for failing to pay the money back."

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