The number of landlords flouting tenancy deposit legislation has halved in the past year – but almost one in three is still not obeying the law.

A survey by The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) revealed that 30 per cent of landlords are prepared openly to admit to not registering a deposit – compared to 61 per cent in 2008.

The DPS has now backed proposals for a register of landlords, which would encourage compliance with the law. Landlords have been required to register deposits with a Government-accredited scheme since April 2007.

Kevin Firth, Director of The DPS, said:

“Good progress has been made within the industry at raising awareness of landlords’ legal responsibilities.”

“The fact that the number of landlords ignoring the law has halved is testament to the fact that most landlords want to do the right thing.”

“But more needs to be done and ignorance is no excuse. We believe that the introduction of a national register would make landlords more accountable and offer tenants a greater level of protection.”

“Mandatory registration and deposit protection would leave rogue landlords with nowhere to hide!”

The DPS is the only scheme to physically hold onto a deposit. It is provided free of charge, and funded entirely by the interest earned from deposits held in the scheme.

Since the launch of the DPS in 2007, around 700,000 deposits have been protected, worth over £520 million pounds.

The DPS surveyed more than 500 landlords to ask which, if any, deposit protection scheme they registered their tenants’ deposits with.