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TDS guides agents through AST changes

publication date: Jul 28, 2010
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TDS logoAs discussed in our feature, with the AST rent threshold rises, any existing private sector tenancies with rental values of up to £100,000 a year will become Assured Shorthold Tenancies, ASTs, on 1 October 2010. As a result, these tenancies will have to be registered for tenancy deposit protection.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme, TDS, is taking steps to ensure that agents fully understand what the law expects of them. “We are drawing up guidelines to help smooth the transition.
To ensure that these guidelines prove valuable, we are holding consultations with a representative sample of letting agents and corporate landlords before publishing them,” said Michael Morgan, Acting Head of Adjudication for the TDS.

Currently, tenancies which fall outside of the TDS, can be protected by the TDSRA (Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents), but with the new higher limits this scheme will be closed. After October 1, however, TDS will continue to adjudicate deposit disputes involving tenancies that fall outside the AST criteria, subject to the agreement of both parties.

Michael Morgan added, “Adjudicating these disputes means we are continuing to offer a full service to members of the TDS that is unrivalled in tenancy deposit protection.”

The recent review carried out by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme has led to improved methods for resolving tenancy deposit disputes and now over 80 per cent of all disputes are resolved within four weeks. Interviews have been taking place for a new Chief Executive and the TDS User Group should be finalised by the end of the summer.

“I believe the first months of this financial year have been very productive and auger well for cost effectiveness, user satisfaction and the future of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme,” said Chairman Martin Partington.