Tenancy Deposits - Are you protected?
Despite the fact that since April 2007 a landlord entering into an Assured Shorthold Tenancy has been obliged to protect the tenant’s deposit in an approved scheme within 30 days of it being paid, it is surprising how many landlords are apparently unaware or elect not to comply with this requirement,.
Landlords must also provide the tenant with certain information including:-
(a) Landlords must also provide the tenant with certain information including:-
(b) The name, address, telephone number, email address and fax number of the administrator of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme;
(c) Any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme administrator, explaining the operation of sections 212 – 215 of the Housing Act 2004, and Schedule 10 to that Act;
(d) The procedures which apply under the scheme by which the deposit can be claimed by the tenant at the end of the tenancy;
(e) The procedures which apply under the scheme if either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy;
(f) The procedures which apply under the scheme where there is a dispute between the landlord and tenant as to how much of the deposit ought to be repaid to the tenant;
(g) The dispute resolution provisions of the scheme;
(h) The following information about the tenancy:
i. The amount of deposit paid;
ii. The address of the property;
iii. The contact details for the landlord;
iv. The tenant’s contact details;
v. The contact details of any relevant person (e.g. the landlord’s agent);
vi. The circumstances in which part or all of the deposit may be retained by the landlord; and
vii. Confirmation (signed by the landlord) that the information provided is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief, and that he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any document containing the information provided.
A failure by a landlord to take any of these steps could lead to a Court awarding compensation of up to 3 times the original deposit paid. Further, the compensation could increase substantially if there has been more than one tenancy since the deposit was paid (e.g. if the original term ended and the tenancy rolled over, or the tenant signed a new tenancy agreement).
The amount of compensation payable is at the Court’s discretion and will depend on the facts of the case, but whether or not to award compensation in the first place is not discretionary. If the landlord has not protected the deposit, or has failed to provide the ‘prescribed information’ required by the Housing Act 2004, the Court must award compensation of between 1 and 3 times the deposit value.
Situations where the Court might award maximum compensation include where the deposit has never been protected during the tenancy, and none of the prescribed information has not been provided. On the other hand the Court might award the lower level of compensation, for example, if the deposit was protected but the prescribed information was either not properly provided or was provided late.
If the tenant still lives in the property, a failure by the landlord either to protect the deposit or provide the prescribed information will also restrict the landlord’s ability to evict the tenant, unless and until the deposit is protected.
We act for both landlord and tenants in relation to the tenancy deposit rules. If you believe that you have a claim for compensation or a claim is being made against you, please contact Jennifer Beatty for more information on 0161 819 4911 or at JBE@nexussolicitors.co.uk.
Any and all information on this website is general information and is not legal or other advice. Nexus Solicitors Limited is not responsible for any loss which may arise from relying on the information on this site.