Eastbourne woman angry at ‘No Deposit Scheme’ for renters
A woman from Eastbourne believes a renting scheme she paid into ‘should not be allowed to continue’.
Angela Lacey, who lives in Grove Road, said she joined the No Deposit Scheme with Leaders Letting & Estate, based in Grove Road, in early 2018.
The scheme works by renters paying a small monthly fee instead of a larger upfront deposit.
Angela said as part of this scheme she was paying £30 a month in addition to her monthly rent of £500. She said if she’d paid a normal upfront deposit it would have been around £600.
However, three years after joining the scheme, Angela said, “I realised that I had paid Leaders an awful lot of money. In fact, by the end of August 2021 I had paid £1,260 into this No Deposit Scheme – twice as much as I should have paid.”
She said being part of the scheme means you ‘don’t get a penny back’.
Angela said, “In fact, you could even be liable for damages too on top of any monies paid into the scheme. This can’t be fair surely, and where is all the money going?”
One of the benefits of the scheme is discounts to certain services and free advice. On the Leaders’ website the current perks include savings with Virgin Media, money off Russell Hobbs appliances and access to the Leaders’ 24/7 legal helpline.
Despite this Angela said, “I personally have not taken advantage of any such benefits, as this type of incentive doesn’t always appeal to everyone. At the end of the day – benefits or no benefits – the customer/tenant paying into the scheme leaves with no money at all.
“My main question/argument is this – Should there not be a cut-off point for monthly contributions into this scheme?
“For it to be allowed to continue indefinitely does not seem fair at all.
“The only way one can exit the scheme is either by leaving the property, or by providing an upfront (refundable) deposit on top of any previous monies paid into the non-refundable No Deposit Scheme.”
Angela said the scheme ‘should not be allowed to continue’.
In response to Angela’s situation Michael Cook, National Lettings Managing Director at Leaders, said, “Leaders offers an optional No Deposit Option through its tenant membership scheme, The Residency, to ease the financial burden placed on tenants when they move.
“It is clearly communicated in all the scheme literature, and by our teams, that the fees for The Residency do not act as insurance. The tenant is still liable for any damages, arrears or cleaning charges at the end of a No Deposit Option tenancy. However, we offer a completely transparent arbitration process should a tenant wish to challenge any claim, as with a traditional deposit scheme, which is run by an independent third party.
“As well as helping tenants move in more quickly, The Residency membership scheme also provides unlimited legal advice, significant discounts with hundreds of national retailers and help with personal finances.
“The No Deposit Option scheme is entirely flexible, and the tenant can switch to a traditional deposit by giving 30 days’ notice. This is wholly at the tenant’s discretion and cannot be declined by Leaders or the landlord.”
“We go to great lengths to make sure the terms are transparent, staff are trained and customers are clear on the terms of The Residency. We will continue to liaise with the tenant to clarify and resolve their issue.”