Despite the emergence of tenancy deposit replacement schemes, interest in traditional schemes is continuing to grow.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme said in its new annual review that there has been 73% growth in its free custodial tenancy deposit scheme during the 2018/19 financial year.
TDS has traditionally offered only an insurance scheme, and this continues to be by far the more popular with almost 1.4m deposits protected via insurance, compared with nearly 71,000 protected in the custodial scheme.
However CEO Steve Harriott said: “We’re seeing an increasing number of landlords and agents join our free custodial scheme.
“We’ve designed it to make life easier and save our agent and landlord customers time.”
The growth of the custodial scheme is put down to the tenant fees ban and the deposit cap, meaning that agents are looking to streamline processes to save both time and money.
The highest dispute value was in the insurance scheme, where there was a claim for £32,500 for rent arrears; the highest in the custodial scheme was £5,600 for legal fees.
The lowest value dispute in the insured scheme was for £20 of missing cushions, and in the custodial scheme £12 for damage to a carpet.
While TDS continues to offer only traditional deposit schemes, it has teamed up with one replacement scheme – Zero Deposits – to provide alternative dispute resolution.
The new annual report says that tenants raise the most disputes (67%) and landlords the least (9%). Agents raise over 23% of disputes. The most common reasons for disputes are cleaning, damage and redecoration.
In total, there were 14,006 disputes in the insured scheme and 338 in the custodial scheme. They were resolved in 11.82 and 15.11 days on average respectively.
The new annual report also pays heartfelt tribute to TDS’s 123 members of staff.
In January the organisation’s offices in Hemel Hempstead burnt down in their entirety – “but our colleagues reacted magnificently,” says chairman Martin Partington in his forward to the report.
“The next day we were up and running from colleagues’ homes, providing all our services to tenants, agents and landlords.
“Within two days we were in temporary offices and just seven months later we moved to our new home.
“In this period we continued to provide the excellent services we pride ourselves on.
“So this annual report is a tribute to all of my team who have dedicated the last year to making life easier for tenants, agents and landlords.”
TDS won nationwide recognition for the ‘most effective recovery’ in a business awards ceremony this year. TDS also came 63rd in this year’s Sunday Times Best Places to Work.