Duration after tenancy ends for deposit claim

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Duration after tenancy ends for deposit claim

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Duration after tenancy ends for deposit claim

I purchased a house last year which had a tenant on a 6 month AST living in the property. I agreed for the tenant to stay (this suited me as it was to be an investment property anyway) and issued my own AST. She has recently given notice and now moved out. The tenant left owing me 2 months rent (she received housing benefit and they pay in arrears, hence the debt) – the deposit was less than 1 months rent. The tenant is very amenable (at the moment) and has signed to agree I can keep the deposit towards the rent and they say they will pay the remainder. Duration after tenancy ends for deposit claim

Now comes the complication… The previous landlord did not protect the deposit – said they just forgot! My solicitor picked up on this during the purchase and so insisted that the vendors placed an amount in a holding account to compensate if the tenants claimed. I protected the deposit the day I took over the house. Now the tenant has left and is, to my knowledge, completely unaware of any of this. How long after termination of tenancy can they claim if they realise the deposit was not protected? The previous LL is aware the tenant has left and is asking for his money to be released, but I am wary!

Any suggestions would be gratefully received

Zoe



Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Definitely six years in England and Wales - would need to check when the clock starts ticking though.

Three months in Scotland (I think!).

Hopefully somebody will be able to fill in the gaps in my knowledge without me having to research this further 🙂
.

Ian Ringrose

4 years ago

Shame there is not insurance to cover this.... that the vender can be required to buy.

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

As Mark said it's 6 years. It starts from the date the 30 day deadline to protect expired, generally 30 days after the beginning of the tenancy.

So the agreement for the holding account should have been clear that he money is to be held for 6 years.
Perhaps it would have been easier to negotiate a hard cash payment.

Steve Masters

4 years ago

If you issued your own AST that then replaces the original AST with the previous owner/landlord. The deposit would be deemed to be return by the previous owner and then re-submitted to you, even if no money changed hands ala Superstrike vs. Rodrigues. You protected your deposit, it is the previous owner/landlord who should be held responsible for not protecting his deposit.

I don't understand what the issue is!

zoe

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Masters" at "14/10/2014 - 17:02":

Thanks for the comments. My solicitor said at the time that: The concept of surrendering the existing Tenancy and granting a new one still contains an element of risk because if the Judge decides to look at the history of the matter, and the reason for the creation of the paperwork, then he may well come to the conclusion that it is an exercise to get around the fact that the regulations were not followed.
This was the reason for holding the fund.

Steve Masters

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "zoe " at "20/10/2014 - 04:49":

I think you will be safe, you can counter, quite rightly, that the reason you issued a new tenancy was because you became the new landlord.

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

IMHO the only way to create a new tenancy in a way effective at protecting yourself against the previous landlord not having protected the deposit is to have that new tenancy start exactly at the moment you become the new owner and not later.

Indeed, if it starts even a day after completion then you still become the landlord in relation to the previous tenancy.

It'd be for a solicitor to advise whether this is possible and how to do it reliably.


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