For the first time in England and Wales, landlords and letting agents can now choose which deposit protection method they use – either custodial or insured – from the same supplier.
As from this week, the Deposit Protection Service is offering both services.
The DPS is England and Wales’ only provider of a custodial scheme. It has now added an insurance-backed scheme.
The choice between the two types of scheme can be made online or by phone, but while the new insured scheme is available to all landlords, it is only available to letting agents who belong to a recognised trade body, including NALS and SafeAgent.
Landlords and agents will be able to manage both their custodial and insured deposits via one easy, integrated online account.
Both services are supported by the same Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service in the case of disagreement at the end of the tenancy.
The DPS says that its price for the insured scheme is a match for the cheapest schemes on the market, and has no subscription.
Letting agents will be charged per deposit monthly by direct debit; the (ex-VAT) fee to protect each deposit will be £9.50. Further discounts will be available for volume.
Landlords will be charged £15 (inc VAT) per deposit for deposits under £500, and £22.20 (inc VAT) per deposit for deposits over £500 on a pay-as-you-go basis.