23 March 2018
During the last year or so, we have dealt with a number of cases where claims have been delayed as a result of the landlord's failure to comply strictly with statutory requirements relating to Tenancy Deposit Schemes. Whilst you may be aware of the statutory requirements, experience has shown us that very minor departures from the requirements can cause problems.
A Notice Requiring Possession (served by a landlord prior to proceedings) is invalid if any deposit is not held in an authorised scheme, or if the landlord has not provided the tenant with certain prescribed information within 30 days from receipt of the deposit.
The Deregulation Act 2015 has relaxed requirements for landlords in some respects, but they are still strict. If the prescribed information is provided late, or if some of the prescribed information is missing, then even where the deposit is protected in an authorised scheme, the only safe course is to return the deposit to the tenant in full. Even that can cause practical difficulties.
Common questions we have recently given advice on include:
- What exactly is the 'prescribed information' and when do you have to provide it?
- What records should you keep when circulating prescribed information?
- What should you bear in mind if drafting a section 21 notice?
If a deposit was taken for a tenancy before 6 April 2007 but was not protected by the time it subsequently became a periodic tenancy, the landlord must protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information, by 24 June 2015.