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Tenancy Deposit Scheme – it’s good to talk!
Sir Martin said that in order to overcome this year’s financial crisis some “Draconian steps had to be taken just to keep the organisation afloat. Had they not, TDS would have gone belly-up.”
The new Chairman is anxious to ensure that there will be a new fee charging system which is workable and acceptable; but it will also have to be acceptable to the Communities & Local Government (CLG), which is responsible for the whole tenancy deposit regime – and it may not happen within this financial year.
Sir Martin’s appointment as Chairman, replaces John Hornsey, who remains on the Board. There are two further major changes at TDS following a review of the entire operation after a disastrous Spring. Firstly, the search is now on for a Chief Executive of TDS and secondly, Lawrence Greenberg is stepping down from his role as Independent Case Examiner.
Lawrence was seen by many as the CEO of TDS but this was not the case and the misconception was the cause of much of the anger from agents that nobody at TDS would talk to them to discuss their issues with the scheme and the outrageous hike in fees.
The new Chief Executive will indeed, says Sir Martin, talk to agents and be available for meetings and presentations. “The problems arose because the budgets for 2009 were set in October 2008 and calculations were made on a wing and a prayer, with assumptions about the numbers of tenancies registered and the likely dispute caseload.”
The consultation for the renewal of contracts to run tenancy deposit schemes begins in October and new contracts will be granted to commence in April 2012.
“I want TDS to be the biggest and best tenancy deposit scheme,” said Sir Martin, “and the key issue is transparency in fee charging. I believe that we can transform the scheme within the current contract – indeed we must.”
Sir Martin has confirmed to us that TDS will introduce a Members User Group as soon as possible and communication will be greatly improved. So the past may have been bad; the future looks better.