The average deposit required to rent a home in Huddersfield has shot up by more than a quarter since last year.
Figures provided exclusively to the Examiner by the Deposit Protection Service reveal that the average deposit size in Huddersfield postcodes was £644 in October 2015.
This represents a rise of 25.9% when compared to the average of £511 in October 2014.
But over the same period the average wage for a full-time worker in Kirklees decreased by 1% to £25,038.
Increases in rental deposits can signify that rents are going up – but also may be attributed to more landlords asking for the equivalent of six weeks’ rent up front rather than four.
The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) is a government organisation responsible for protecting deposits during tenancies as well as re-distributing the money when a tenancy ends.
Nationally, their figures show that in the average postcode area rents increased by 9.3% between October 2014 and October 2015 to £767.
Julian Foster, DPS Managing Director, said: “Tenancy deposits are typically multiples of monthly rent so when there is an increase in average deposit sizes, it is likely to reflect bigger rents and greater demand.”
Kirklees Cabinet Member for Housing Cathy Scott said Kirklees Council was ‘committed to supporting people into affordable housing.’
Clr Scott said: “Having checked, the council doesn’t hold any information on why the deposits required by private landlords may have increased. However, we are committed to supporting people into affordable housing.
“Our Housing Solutions Service provides practical advice and assistance to those in need of appropriate housing by removing some of the barriers to accessing private rented accommodation.
“We have also encouraged some private landlords to offer their properties within Local Housing Allowance (LHA), this means that the accommodation is more affordable.
“Our private lettings service works with partner organisations and private landlords to create suitable tenancies so that the private rented sector becomes a realistic housing solution for many more households within the Kirklees.”
DPS, which has looked after over 4m deposits since it launched in 2007, provides free, impartial adjudication if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy.