The charity arms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and its sister brand SafeDeposits Scotland have joined forces to fund a UK-wide research programme with the aim of improving standards in the private rented sector (PRS).
The TDS Charitable Foundation and the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust have jointly awarded funding of £295,521 over three years to the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), a consortium of 14 institutions led by the University of Glasgow.
The CaCHE team will carry out research projects on resolving disputes, tackling low standards and protecting tenancy deposits.
In the first year of research the CaCHE team will focus on approaches to dispute resolution, tackling low standards in the PRS and improving enforcement, as well as identifying measures to ensure more deposits are protected.
Professor Martin Partington, chair of the TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “We’ve been running the foundation since 2014 and have awarded hundreds and thousands of pounds of grants to the likes of the National Union of Students and the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
“These have been projects that have really helped improve education and standards throughout the private rented sector.
“Recently, our trustees, along with those of the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, felt that we could do more to tackle the underlying issues within the private rented sector by working collaboratively.”
John Duff, chair of the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, said: “The money awarded to CaCHE researchers is the first time we have made a combined grant, and represents the largest amount each organisation has given to a single body.
“By making this major grant to CaCHE we hope to provide a body of research to help policymakers and practitioners make decisions based on reliable and accurate evidence.”
Dr Jennifer Harris, senior research associate for the CaCHE, said: “Debate continues over how policy can most effectively respond to changes in the private rented sector and this research programme will produce findings that are relevant to the challenges, policy responses and nature of the PRS across the UK.”
The TDS Charitable Foundation is funded mainly by donations from TDS while the SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust is funded by SafeDeposits Scotland from surpluses the scheme generates over and above the costs of running its business. Both TDS and its sister organisation SafeDeposits Scotland operate on a not-for-profit basis.