Caps on security deposits could be reduced from the equivalent of six weeks of rent to five in new legislation going through Parliament.
The Sum said that this is now the plan – despite earlier reports that last May, the Government had successfully defended its decision to cap deposits at six weeks’ worth of rent.
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, criticised the move revealed as the Tenancy Fees Bill progresses through Parliament.
He said: “If this is true, landlords will feel badly let down by a Government which says it wants to support good landlords.
“The Government had accepted that a cap of six weeks was the minimum many landlords required.
“This is needed to address the problem of tenants who fail to pay the last month’s rent and leave a property damaged.
“Ministers claim that they want to cut the cost of renting yet this is another measure that the Government is taking that will further cut the number of landlords and properties available as demand continues to rise, so actually driving up rents up.”
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association, said: “A six-week cap is the lowest landlords find acceptable.
“Does the Government really not realise that if landlords don’t think the deposit covers the risk of damage or unpaid rent, they will be even more cautious about who they let to?
“All this will do is make it harder for tenants with poor credit ratings or who want to have a pet to find a suitable home.
“This is clearly a political move aimed at the renters’ vote. It is not a policy for business.”