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Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Subscriptions to Go Up

publication date: Nov 20, 2009
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Lawrence GreenbergSubscriptions for The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) will rise next year. The Dispute Service, which runs the scheme for letting agents, says that under a new system subscriptions will be determined on a fairer basis to take account of the dramatic rise in referrals.

“We are moving to a charge which will be based on the number of live tenancies, with discounts and uplifts to members that will reflect the number of cases referred. We shall base our calculations for subscription increases on this method,” said John Hornsey, Chairman. 

The Board described the increases as ‘likely to be severe” but letting agents registered with TDS will be able to control their costs of deposit protection and offset the cost as scheme rules and the legislation allow agents to pass on the cost to their landlord clients. Agents should start checking their tenancy schedules sooner rather than later to ensure that all tenancies that have ended are also closed on the TDS database. It will be the agent’s responsibility to ensure that they are only be charged fees on live tenancies”.

Many disputes referred to the TDS could a have been resolved by agents and this has been a major factor in the need for a rise in fees. The most extreme example was the referral of a dispute over £4.20. Chief Executive Lawrence Greenberg (pictured) said, “The £4.20 dispute is the lowest but we have had many for not much more. This kind of misuse of the adjudication process is the overwhelming reason why the cost of dispute resolution has increased by nearly 100 per cent. This, more than any other cost increase we have experienced, accounts for the level of subscriptions for next year. However, it is likely that the new rates will be much fairer as they will be set at different levels based on the past history of a firm’s demands on Alternative Dispute Resolution.”