SDLP Social Development spokesperson MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed confirmation from the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland that the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will be introduced.
Mr Durkan who has been calling for the scheme to be introduced for some time said:
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will be mutually beneficial for Tenants and Landlords. Having a third party who acts as a referee should a dispute arise between parties is preferable to what prevailed before.
This system which already applies in England and Wales has the power to help tenants who have been subjected to the behavior of unscrupulous landlords.
The scheme will have dual-benefits for tenants and landlords as any potential legal disputes can go through a process of mediation. The protection afforded by the scheme will go some way to improve confidence in the private rental market.
Minister McCausland has failed to build enough social housing and more and more people are turning to the private rental market. The scheme ties in with the landlord mandatory registration scheme which is another example of greater accountability in this sector.
These improvements will assist people not only on benefits but also students who can sometimes encounter difficulties with the private rental sector. The scheme will also help give people whose rented homes have been repossessed, who have had their properties repossessed, some recourse to get their deposits back and therefore find somewhere else to live.
It is important to stress that the majority of landlords are not unscrupulous, and many go above and beyond their responsibilities to tenants. This scheme simply insures greater protection for both tenant and landlord.
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