Monday, 16 April 2012

New legal responsibilities for landlords

As from 6th April 2012 the changes to Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation included within the Localism Act became law and affect the way you protect a tenant’s deposit.
Under this new legislation you must protect a tenant’s deposit within 30 days after taking it from the tenant. In addition you must provide the tenant with proof within this 30 day period that the deposit has been protected.
If the deposit is not protected within 30 days, you will face penalties. Courts will now order that the deposit be either protected or returned in full to the tenant. The landlord will also be ordered to pay the tenant a minimum of one and maximum of three times the deposit amount as a penalty and you will be unable to use a Section 21 notice until the penalty is settled with the tenant.
Tenants can still seek this compensation even if you protect the deposit late, but before going to court. The tenant can also seek compensation even after leaving the property. This is a major change to the legislation regarding deposits and landlords need to act to ensure that they are complying with the new legislation.
The new rules will apply to deposits which you are already holding. You will be allowed 30 day period of grace from the start date to protect these deposits and /or give the prescribed information if you have not done so already.
Make sure you protect the deposit and provide proof to your tenant that you have done so within 30 days of taking the deposit.
Further information can be obtained by clicking the links below:
Shelter – Deposit Protection

Please note that this legislation does not apply to Scotland. The Scottish Government is planning to bring in Deposit Protection but no details or dates have been finalised.