UK average tenant deposit to drop for first time in four years

Current UK tenants are paying an average rental deposit of £1,299, with an estimated 1.5 million new deposits paid in 2019 to a value of £1.9bn, according to new research by Hamilton Fraser’s deposit alternative scheme Ome.

Despite the final weeks of the year still remaining, Ome’s data revealed that the amount paid for the average deposit is due to drop for the first time in five years – with the figures already down 3% from last year’s average of £1,336, although this is 7% higher than in 2015.

New deposits are those paid within each year for a new tenancy, rather than the total amount of deposits held full stop. The number of new tenant deposits being taken, and the total value, have both seen a consistent drop each year since 2015.

So far in 2019, the number of new deposits being taken has declined by 17% compared to 2018, while the total value of these deposits is also down 19%.

Ome co-founder, Matthew Hooker, commented: “We’ve seen a decline in the number and value of new deposits being taken over the last few years and a driving factor behind this is a change in our lifestyle choices to rent for longer, which reduces the number of deposits being taken and the total value as tenants opt to stay put in the same property.

“Although the average cost for the individual tenant has continued to climb due to increasing rents which form the basis of the deposit calculation, this year looks to be the first in a long time that we might actually see this cost drop.

“This has largely been driven by new legislation that has reduced the number of weeks rent an agent or landlord can charge for both a holding and tenancy deposit.”

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