‘Astonishing’ – the total sum of the UK’s rental deposits

More than £5.2bn was held in rental deposits last year across the UK’s letting sector, with 4.6 million tenancies meaning the average tenant paid out £1,139 to secure a rental property, new research by the rental deposit scheme, Ome, has revealed.

Ome’s research showed the total business investment in the UK over the last year reached £198bn, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The firm also suggested, however, that while the money used as traditional deposits only equated to a small percentage of that, if it was made available to the wider economy it would ‘single-handedly boost’ UK business investment by 2.6%.

Ome admitted that 2.6% sounded ‘insignificant’ but that looking at rental deposits as a proportion of investment into sub-industries and sectors, it ‘put the huge sum into perspective.’

The research showed the £5.2bn held in traditional deposits last year exceeded investments into several sub-industries – more than 10 times the sum invested into textiles, leather, clothing and footwear, and six times the sum invested into solid fuels and oil refining within the UK, Ome highlighted.

Ome co-founder, Matthew Hooker, said: “It’s quite astonishing when you consider the total sum used as rental deposits across the nation and especially when you compare this with investment into the UK.

“To think it exceeds the annual investment seen in a number of UK business sectors, and nearly 3% of total UK business investment in the last 12 months, is remarkable, and makes you think how useful these huge sums of money can be when put to good use.

“Of course, we appreciate that these unutilised tenant funds are unlikely to be ploughed into the UK business sector via investment if they weren’t tied up, but it does demonstrate the huge sums being held by landlords and agents and the sheer size of financial security the nation’s tenants must collectively put down when looking to rent.”

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