CAB an­tic­i­pates busy time

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

ASH­FORD and Ten­ter­den Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau (CAB) is brac­ing it­self for an in­crease in help re­quests as new laws for ten­ants and private land­lords come into force next month.

Af­ter years of ten­ants hav­ing lit­tle chance if own­ers chose to keep all or part of their de­posits, it is hoped the new laws will help pro­tect peo­ple’s money and re­solve many dis­putes.

Ser­vice man­ager Diane Down­ing said they, along with other char­i­ties, had cam­paigned for years to get de­posit pro­tec­tion.

She said: “Ar­gu­ments over how much a land­lord should keep cov­er­ing dam­age and other ex­penses of­ten ended with the ten­ants los­ing out.

“Many clients have un­fairly lost de­posits, which has left them with noth­ing to put down on their next rented prop­erty, and pushed them into dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances.”

She cited a re­cent case the CAB had dealt with. A cou­ple moved from rented prop­erty and the owner’s agent agreed the house was left in good con­di­tion and they were told a £700 de­posit would be re­turned.

But it was three months af­ter they moved out be­fore the owner made an in­spec­tion and told them he was not happy with the state of the prop­erty, would not be re­turn­ing their de­posit, and wanted an­other £1,400 for re­dec­o­rat­ing.

With the help of CAB, they took court ac­tion for the re­turn of the de­posit and loss of in­ter­est, which they won.

Un­der the new laws, from April 6, all land­lords are re­quired to be in a gov­ern­ment-ap­proved scheme with sanc­tions against those that do not com­ply.

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