CAB anticipates busy time
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.