ARLA Propertymark backs holding deposits to stop ‘time-wasting tenants’

A holding deposit capped at two weeks’ rent would help ease the burden on agents of tenants shopping around for multiple properties, ARLA Propertymark claims.

The trade body says there is a concern that the lettings fee ban will result in tenants shopping around with “impunity”, potentially wasting agency time and resources, but David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark has expressed hope that the Government will avoid this by allowing holding deposits.

He said: “The letting agent fees ban introduced in Scotland in 2012 resulted in tenants putting offers on multiple properties, creating significant additional work for both letting agents and landlords.

“The Department for Communities and Local Government has recognised this burden and therefore in the consultation they propose that agents will be allowed to take holding deposits from tenants which will be refunded to successful applicants and forfeited if tenants withdraw.

“This should overcome the issue of tenants putting down offers on multiple properties with impunity.

“The consultation asks what limits should be imposed on holding deposits and we believe they should be capped at two weeks as that figure will act a deterrent to such action by tenants while still being affordable.”

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