Any deposit received by a landlord in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy after 6 April 2007 must be placed in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
In England & Wales the three schemes are:
- Deposit Protection Service
- My Deposits
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Within 30 days of receipt of the deposit a landlord must provide the tenant with certain information including details of the scheme upon which the deposit is held. If the deposit is not protected, or even if it is and this information is not provided, a tenant may be entitled to the return of the deposit and an award of up to three times the value of the deposit.
Furthermore, if a landlord has either failed to protect the deposit or failed to provide the prescribed information to the tenant a landlord will be debarred from using the Section 21 possession procedure (Possession Claims Residential)
This can place a landlord in a very difficult situation if he wishes to remove a tenant that is not at fault in any way as both the non-fault procedure (section 21) and fault procedure (Section 8) will not be available to the landlord.
Our lawyers are have exceptional expertise in dealing with situations just like the one described above. We can assist landlords with advice relating to the deposit protection rules and identify solutions to rectify the landlords breach as far as possible to enable them to proceed with a possession action. We can also assist tenants in protecting their interests and pursuing a claim where a landlord has failed to deal with the deposit appropriately.
It is also worth noting that a landlord’s failure to provide other non-deposit related documents (Energy Certificate, Gas Safety Certificate & ‘How to Rent’ booklet) can also prevent them from using the Section 21 possession procedure.
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