Watch out for rogue agents
Crooked letting agents were convicted of stealing almost £700,000 of tenancy deposits in the first half of 2017– with the average theft totalling almost £50,000.
Renting reformer Ajay Jagota keeps a running total of the cash value of deposits criminal letting agents have been convicted of stealing, which he publishes on a quarterly basis.
By the end of June overall thefts for 2017 totalled £673,273 – with an average theft of £48,091 per conviction.
Subsequent convictions have taken the total close to £750,000
15 rogue agents have been convicted of offences relating to the theft of deposits in 2017 – at an average of more than two a month.
Research from deposit-free renting solution Dlighted last year showed £1,018,100 of deposits were stolen in 2016 – with at least one landlord or letting agent convicted every single month. 2017’s figures are on course to exceed that figure.
Ajay Jagota, founder of Dlighted, a proptech company which offers an alternative to traditional Tenancy Deposit schemes by means of a deposit replacement insurance which is regulated by the FCA, responded to the figures.
He said: “Some are arguing that no reform of the deposit system is necessary. But in the current system agents have managed thefts of at least £700,000 in just six months.
“Within the next four years, almost £6billion will be held in tenancy deposit schemes, roughly £4billon of which will retained by letting agents and landlords. Not only is this money missing from the UK economy, it is far too easy for it to go missing altogether.”