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Deposits for renters ‘are crying out to be reformed’

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A ‘BROKEN’ deposit system is leaving property renters waiting weeks to get their money back or having to challenge unfair charges, according to Which?.

The consumer group is calling for a government review after finding 31 per cent of renters have had to pay a new deposit when they moved — before having their previous one returned.

House cleaning and damage to the property were the two most common reasons for money being deducted from deposits. But 81 per cent of tenants charged for cleaning and 75 per cent billed for damage said the deductions were unreasonable.

Fifty-five per cent of tenants who did not get their money back in full challenged the decision. Only one in three were satisfied with the current system.

One in six of those who have moved in the past two years waited more than four weeks to get their deposit back and 43 per cent said they had to use a credit card or borrow money in order to cover the expense of a new deposit.

Alex Neill, the managing director of home products and services at Which?, said: ‘The number of people going into debt to cover the cost of a new deposit is concerning.

‘The findings highlight how the deposit system is crying out for reform so that it is fit for purpose for the record numbers of people who are living in rented accommodation. We believe the government must tackle the issues that we have identified in our report.’

Million-cuppa boost thanks to heatwave

Bumper: Checking the record chamomile crop at Tregothnan PICTURE: SWNS

THE heatwave has brought a bumper harvest at England’s only tea farm — enough to make a million cuppas.

Soaring temperatures have resulted in the biggest crop of chamomile the country has ever seen, at Tregothnan estate near Tresillian, Cornwall.

Tregothnan’s Bella Percy-Hughes, 36, said: ‘Normally it’s grown in the Mediterranean but because we’ve had such a hot climate chamomile production has increased significantly.

‘It’s the largest amount ever harvested in the UK for tea. The crop is being harvested now and then it will be dried before it is made into tea. When we’re finished we’ll have enough for about a million cups.’

Economy set to bounce back after cold start

ECONOMIC growth is expected to have heated up in the second quarter when official figures are released today.

Gross domestic product is believed to have been at 0.4 per cent between April and June after it fell to 0.2 per cent amid the Beast from the East earlier in the year.

Andrew Goodwin at Oxford Economics said GDP came back after ‘a couple of very strong months for retail sales’.

While growth is not back to pre-crisis levels, Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said the economy has a ‘new, lower speed limit’.


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■ SUNNY weather is a double celebration for David Baker, who has built a solar-powered ice cream van. The owner of Styles Farmhouse Ice Cream in Somerset put panels on the roof to power the fridge and freezers. He said: ‘It’s saving £15 a day in fuel.’

■ INDIA’S first Ikea opened to band music and cheers yesterday. Hundreds of customers were welcomed through the doors of the store in Hyderabad, which is the first of 25 planned to open in the country over the next seven years.