EastEnders story highlights importance of tenancy deposit protection
The writers of an EastEnders storyline dealing with problems in the private rented sector have been congratulated by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
A recent episode saw Albert Square landlord Masood Ahmed terminating Carmel Kazemi’s tenancy in the property he lets to her, but when she asks for her deposit back, he says he needs to carry out an end of tenancy inspection before returning her money.
And although she has left the property in good order, Masood - who is facing financial problems - attempts to sabotage the return of her deposit by pouring coffee over the carpet.
He then accuses Carmel of causing the damage, claiming he has photographic evidence and will withhold the deposit until he has assessed the value of the repairs.
Mike Morgan, TDS director of dispute resolution, said: “Masood had a legal obligation to protect Carmel’s deposit with a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving the money however it’s not clear whether he did in the story-line.
"These schemes exist to protect tenants from rogue property-owners absconding with or unnecessarily withholding deposits and to give upstanding landlords and lettings agents an impartial adjudication of disputes.
“My advice to Carmel would be that she should have carried out her own inspection when she took on her lease, documenting any evidence of existing damage and reporting it to her landlord and keeping relevant records of the correspondence.
"If an inventory is agreed at the start of a tenancy, disagreements on damages at the end can be avoided.”