All lettings operators are to continue to receive insurance protection for deposits, Mydeposits has said.

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of the government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme, suggested that there is no evidence to suggest letting agents who are not accredited with a professional body, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, pose a greater risk.

He said Mydeposits receives an equal number of deposit dispute claims from both "unregulated"and affiliated letting agents.

Mr Hooker commented: "From a disputes perspective, unaffiliated agents do not represent a higher than normal risk.

However, Mydeposits will be stepping up its financial checks on letting agents' finances to ensure regulations are being followed.

Some 95 per cent of private landlords are aware of the legal requirements for tenancy deposit protection, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents' annual review of the private rented sector, published this month.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18989466-ADNFCR

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