Remainder to all Landlords that since the 6th April, 22012 should you take a rent deposit from your tenant you must do the following or face difficulties should you wish to issue tenant eviction proceedings:-
a. Pay the deposit into a prescribed scheme within 30 days of payment.
b Comply with the initial requirerments of the scheme you are using within 30 days of payment. Please refer to the terms and conditions of the scheme.
c. Give the tenant the prescribed information relating to the deposit within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
There are two prescribed schemes.
a. The custodial scheme, where a Landlord pays the money into the scheme – for more information contact The Deposit Protection Service. This service is free to Landlords.
b. An insurabce scheme, where the Landlord retains the depsoit until the end of the tenancy – for more information contact Tenancy Deposit Solutions (My/deposit). This service charges a fee for each rent deposit.
The consequences of not protecting the rent deposit are:-
a. Any section 21 eviction notice will be invalid.
b. The tenant can apply to the court for an award of between one to three times the rent deposit plus the return of the deposit and
c. The tenant could file a counterclaim to any tenant eviction proceedings issued for rent arrears and effectively wipe out the arrears of rent.
What can a Landlord do if he has failed to pay the deposit into a Scheme:-
a.Return the deposit to the tenant as soon as possible or
b. Pay the deposit into a prescribed scheme immediately. Although the Court of Appeal case of Tiensia will no longer assist a Landlord who has not protected the deposit, paying the deposit into a scheme will hopefully assist in persuading the Court that the penalty should be reduced to only one times the rent deposit should the tenant make a claim.
Should you have any further questions, please contact us on 01455 553945 or 07746 438 474 and speak to a tenant eviction solicitor who will be able to assist you with any tenant eviction problems you may have.