Tenancy Deposits – deadline looming for protection against penalties
Landlords of residential property are reminded that, further to the Deregulation Act 2015 ("DA"), for fixed term assured short-hold tenancies that were granted pre-6 April 2007 that subsequently became statutory periodic after 6 April 2007, a deposit taken in relation to that tenancy must be protected and prescribed information served if the Landlord wants to avoid the penalties imposed by the Housing Act 2004.
Those penalties being that an amount is payable of up to three times the amount of the deposit/inability to serve a section 21 notice without deposit return. Landlords have until 23 June 2015 to protect and serve (if posting the notice, don’t leave it too late)! Failure to do so will leave Landlords open to a claim, loss of the deposit and delay in seeking possession.
As for the other measures in the DA applicable to tenancies in England; in brief:
- A prescribed form of section 21 notice (applicable to tenancies granted on or after 1 July 2015)
- Retaliatory evictions – inability to serve a section 21 notice for a period of six months if the local authority has served a Housing Act 2004 improvement or emergency remedial action notice (not applicable to registered social landlords)
- a section 21 notice doesn’t need to expire on the last day of a period of the tenancy
- a section 21 notice cannot be served within the first four months of a tenancy; a s21 notice has a "shelf life" of six months
- Restrictions on being able to serve a section 21 notice if information re property condition/rights and obligations not provided
- Where a section 21 notice brings a tenancy to an end before the end of a period of the tenancy, the tenant is entitled to repayment of rent paid in advance
These provisions apply to all tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, then to all tenancies in existence from 1 October 2018