UK rental market

MPs are calling for a limit on deposits for renters

Under the proposed rule, landlords wouldn't be allowed to ask for more than the equivalent of five week's rent

A group of MPs are calling for a cap on the amount your landlord can charge you as a deposit, of no more than the equivalent of five weeks' rent.

What it means: It's all part of a new draft bill (which could become law) banning letting agent's fees. The bill limits what you have to pay up front to six-weeks' rent as a 'security' deposit (in case you break anything) and a 'holding' desposit of one week's rent (in case you change your mind about renting the flat).

These MPs are arguing that six weeks is too much, and could put tenants in financial difficulties. Capping the deposit at five weeks would make the private rental sector more affordable, they're saying, which could ease the pressure on social housing.

But landlords say a lower cap will mean more 'risky' tenants (people who've got pets, say) will be rejected because landlords won't have the possibility of taking a higher deposit to cover for damage.

As more and more people rent housing from the private rental sector, the government's come under a lot of pressure to introduce rules that make it fairer, and a more viable long-term option. It's all about the balance of power between renters and landlords: when rental homes are in short supply, landlords don't have much incentive to keep prices affordable and conditions good, without rules to protect tenants (like caps on deposits).

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?