A number of landlords are charging money from tenants described as 'Rent in Advance' to avoid taking a deposit. The belief is that by doing this landlords and tenants avoid the tenancy deposit protection rules.
However, a court case Piggot v Slaven in Grimsby earlier this year ruled that 'Rent in Advance' was in fact just the same as a deposit. The Court ordered the landlord to pay 3 times the deposit to the tenant.
The warning to landlords is clear - don't try and get around the tenancy deposit rules by charging 'Rent in Advance', it could be very expensive.