Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 3 weeks ago 35
I asked My|Deposits some time ago if my tenants deposit had to be re-protected if the AST rolled over to an SPT (Periodic Tenancy), when it was the same property, same terms, but increased rent, without taking an increased deposit.
Their reply was that it did not have to be re-protected as it had rolled over to a Periodic tenancy.
I recently had an email from My|Deposits about protecting deposits. They probably sent the same mail to other landlords that use their service. It says a tenant’s deposit does not have to be re-protected when the tenancy rolls over to a periodic but in their words it is now written:-
“A SPT is created when the end date of a fixed term AST has been reached and the existing tenants remains in the property on exactly the same terms as the original tenancy agreement (other than an agreement by the parties to increase the rent).”
This bit in brackets was not said in my original query so the deposit was not re-protected when going to a periodic tenancy, but the rent which was originally low was increased slightly. The tenant was not offered a new AST as they could not find a Guarantor the second time around.
No wonder things have become confused. This tenant has already been served a section 21 with the two months notice on the Periodic. So although I checked things out with My|Deposits before hand I may now be in the wrong.
I have another tenant on a SPT who’s deposit was protected on the original AST. They informed me the will have to move in April due to the LHA cuts. However, I have agreed to reduce their rent by £35pm. They are happy to stay on with the reduction and I am also happy as finding a new tenant through an agent will cost me the £35pm. I am loosing on the rent but I keep the good tenants who have always paid the rent.
So NOW I am reducing the rent and the original terms have changed is re-protection needed again?
I would be happy to avoid all the confusion with large fines for getting it wrong by letting the tenant protect their own deposit. They can send the deposit to scheme holders and get it registered. The landlord will not hold the deposit and the deposit cannot be released to the tenant without the landlord’s permission. The tenant can be responsible for their own deposit and know if they pay the rent and do no damage it will be returned with the landlords approval.
Has anyone suggested this plan before? I am not interested in holding the deposit, having it registered and sending reams of information to tenants, only to be penalised if I make an honest mistake.
If tenants are worried about their deposits, as are the government, and do-gooders, why can’t we let them register it and send me the appropriate paperwork?
Maybe you can put this concept to the vote on your website?
I feel all honest landlords would be in favour as we can all do without the hassle, while still knowing the tenants deposit is being looked after in case we need to claim on it. Someone in the government will probably have a good reason why tenants should not have the responsibility of registering their own deposit, but can handle the responsibility of looking after the LHA money!
If this is of interest you may use it in your articles.
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