The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

The Tenancy Deposit scheme was introduced as part of the Housing Act 2004. The legislation affects all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) created on or after 6th April 2007. All deposits paid under an AST from this date must be protected by one of the three government approved schemes within 14 days of the deposit being received by the Landlord or their agent. The landlord must also provide the tenant with specific prescribed information about which scheme the landlord is using, this information must also be provided to the tenant within 14 days of the deposit being paid to the Landlord or their agent.

If the landlord does not protect the deposit and give the tenant the prescribed information then the tenant can apply for judgement against the landlord. If the tenant is successful in showing that the deposit was not protected or that the prescribed information was not given to them then the court must order the landlord to pay the tenant a sum equal to three times the amount of the deposit.

The wording of the legislation means that a court has no discretion as to how much to award the tenant. If the legislation has not been complied with the court must award the tenant a sum equal to three times the amount of the deposit. The other major effect of non-compliance is that the accelerated possession procedure under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 cannot be used.

Although the legislation governing the tenancy deposit scheme is tightly worded, it is possible for a landlord who has not protected the deposit or provided the prescribed information to the tenant to escape these sanctions if specific steps are followed before proceedings are issued.

Sarginsons Law have extensive experience in dealing with both landlord and tenant law. We can provide a landlord with the correct documentation, including tenancy agreements and the prescribed information, to make sure that he is complying with the tenancy deposit legislation. We can also advise landlords on whether they have any defence to a claim brought against them for failure to comply with the legislation. If you need any further information please contact us.

 

23rd February 2019

Sarginsons Law