Scrap tenancy deposits to help first time buyers, urges agent

Scrap tenancy deposits to help first time buyers, urges agent

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Renters are spending half their wages keeping a roof over their head, are twice as likely as homeowners to have no savings and are spending thousands on tenancy deposits – putting home ownership out of reach for millions. 

That is the view of property campaigner Ajay Jagota who says a simple solution would be to let renters put their tenancy deposits into savings accounts, and for their landlords to be better protected with insurance policies. The University of Bristol research has discovered that 33 per cent of private renters have less than £100 in the bank, compared to 14 per cent of mortgage holders. The University’s Financial Wellness report also estimates that private renters spend half their monthly income on rent – although research from Jagota’s north east of England-based sales and lettings firm KIS suggests this figure falls to just 28 per cent in that region.

The report also estimates that 20 per cent of renters have to cut back on their food in order to pay the rent, with 14 per cent having to borrow money from friends or family and eight per cent forced to sell possessions to raise cash. Tax changes coming into effect at the end of this week – including alterations to stamp duty, changes to mortgage interest tax relief and the scrapping the wear and tear allowance – may also force up rents, putting home ownership even further out of reach for first-time buyers, he says. Jagota is the founder of the Protech Deposit replacement insurance solution 'Dlighted', which offers an alternative to the cash Tenancy Deposit schemes TDS, DPS and Mydeposits’.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell stated when he launched the Housing White Paper recently that there is ‘no silver bullet’ when it comes to solving the housing crisis – but on this issue there really is. Renters don’t have savings and half their money goes on rent so first-time buyers clearly need help saving for deposits” insists Jagota. “Landlord insurance provides property investors with much more comprehensive protection. At the same time a tenancy where renters are getting into debt, selling off their stuff and going without food to pay the rent clearly isn’t a sustainable one, so why would landlords put themselves in that position when there is a much more effective alternative?”

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