New tenancy deposit protection laws on the way

New tenancy deposit protection laws on the way

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New tenancy deposit protection laws on the way

New tenancy deposit protection laws on the way

Discussions to change tenant deposit protection rules for landlords are going on behind closed doors, according to information leaked by the Residential Landlords Association.

After a succession of court rulings rubbishing current tenant deposit rules, the government wants to tighten up the law.

Lately, this process has resulted in proposals going out for consultation – but talks to change tenancy deposit protection laws do not seem to be receiving the same treatment.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has revealed they are negotiating with the Communities and Local Government Department on the issue and expect changes as soon as October, but certainly by April.

The government is proposing:

  • The landlord or agent should have 30 days to protect a deposit rather than the current 14 days
  • Penalties for breaching the rules will be a minimum of one month’s rent up to a maximum of three months’ rent. The current penalty for failing to protect a deposit is three times the value of the deposit.
  • Tenants will be able to claim up to six years after a tenancy has ended. A recent Court of Appeal case held renters could not claim compensation for failure to protect a deposit once a tenancy had ended.

“One concern that the RLA has is that the government currently intends the changes to be retrospective. The issue of failing to give tenants the ‘prescribed’ information also has to be addressed properly, in the RLA’s view,” said a spokesman.

“The RLA also believes that while the government is proposing a minimum penalty of the equivalent of one month’s rent, there may be instances where no penalty is appropriate.

“However, whilst the RLA continues to advise its members to continue to protect deposits and give their tenants the ‘prescribed’ information in line with the Housing Act, the RLA is doing its best to ensure that suitable amendments are made by Parliament.”

Judges and lawyers have suggested that most of the problems with tenant deposit protection rules involve inadequate and ambiguous wording in the legislation.

Comments

7 years ago

is this how the RLA negotiate - the TDP amendments (just published) do not propose increasing the 14 days to 30 !!

7 years ago

the first one no probs as it takes me amonth to get the money from the tenant some times.

the second point penalties no concern as the deposits are protected anyway

dont quite understand this one as the deposit will be protected and will be known or not at inception because landlord and tenant notified with security no by DPS and the landlord will be fined by the second amendment this is rubbish and again some government official sitting on their rear end decision.

i have one why cant the landlords take out insurance on the deposits keep the money in their bank and if the landlord keeps it unfairly they can take the landlord to court if they win the insurance can pay out. then there is no need for all this nonsense you see its still intimated that landlords are crooks and need to be regulated what about the TENANTS being regulated .

Ian Simpson

7 years ago

The current system is a joke. A recent tenant of mine caused £1600 of damage, against a 1250 deposit. We claimed from the DPS, the tenant refused, we tried again ( THREE TIMES). Each time the tenant refused. Then off to arbitration! Probably expensive court action next!!!

I personally think castration should be a mandatory requirement for tenants who do this, actually, maybe for all tenants!!

7 years ago

Lets get some balance for landlords.

1. Failure to turn up for a checkout automatically means the landlord keeps the deposit if damage has been done or rent os owed. This is usually the case.

2. Moonlight flitting to avoid paying rent owed or damages is a criminal offence.

3. Sigining of the inventory/condition report is mandatory. If tenant fails to sign or refuses unreasonably after occupation he loses some if not most of the deposit protection.

4. Government sets up a fund to re-imburse rents to landlords when tenants have done item 2.

5. Councils are controlled more over sending bailiffs into landlords properties after they have been told the tenant has left and the only property is the landlords. Automatic payment/fine for them paid to lanlord of 3 months rent.

From my experience of renting when young in London tenants have never had it so good with a large BTL industry providing a very valuable service.

7 years ago

firstly on the RLA I gave up on them when they sold us landlords out to the government , I was an early member then they couldn't sort them selves out then sold us out end off. just a note on arbitration once you have agreed to it you have to abide by their decision the matter so far as I am aware ,if you can't agree with the tenant within reason take the matter to court ,before it goes to court the court will ask for you to try ad arbitrate again with a court clerk over the phone if not agreed you will see a magistrate then you put your case ,I try to negotiate my tenant to court its long winded but I think worth it, I do all I can to stay out of court but if forced I will have my day this way its hard to lose the case because you are right to go , if you are wrong in any of the matter don't go its a waste of time. I have one at the moment its been 3 months since he left he has finally agreed to part of the payment I will get back to him when I have sorted and rented the flat and give him exact figures and expect payment if not he has an option to take me to court I will not agree to DPS arbitration although they will try to force it on me ,remember as long as there is dialogue you cant be accused of no contact as this is generally their first route to tie you into arbitration once in ,no out remember that , if it comes to it you take them the extra cost around £85 up to £5,000 I believe and put your case , here at least both sides have to prove the wrongs and rights not just the landlord it has that air of fairness to it ,you never know the tenant might not turn up you win the case anyway the court will order the DPS to hand over the money ,by the way try not to do this with baristers or solicitors as magistrates and judges dont like to give black marks to such persons dont forget they are sworn in to be honest although their jobs are to get the best for their clients take that as you wish good luck.

7 years ago

I don't know about no 1 because I am quite happy to do a check out without the tenant it is what it is the property does not change its spots when they move out . what is there will be there when they have gone and certainly there is less argument or ignorance because 90% of the time they have already made up their minds in any case like my last one he only wanted to pay me £200 in his opinion I eventually won 750+ of a £1,360 deposit in court which I agreed to give him before I went to court he couldn't prove the rest .
2. this one is a must if it is a criminal offence not to pay council tax or parking fines where the government automatically sends bailiffs out it should be the same for non payment of rent to landlords . think about it every institution has a way of locating non payers within the law except us we ask where are they we get told data protection no can do yet if you owe money to gas, electric, water,rates,etc they just wait till you sign up and you will soon get a letter asking for payment .
3. on this one I make you right because isn't their this law where if you provide a document as part of your contract and you agree the contract then you have agreed to the terms ,and as they have had the opportunity to study and sign with adjustments then in a court of law I think they would be held to it ,I don't think there would be a mandatory amount they would lose but the inventory would stand which would be good in any case because it will prove you correct in your claim. You could also say though if you can fine a landlord for not paying in the deposit within a month then I don't see why IT CANT BE TREATED AS AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH AS MY OLD P.E. TEACHER USED TO SAY.
4. not a bad idea perhaps we should ask that the DPS pay for it , seriously though you get criminal damages if you are attacked in the street ,why not for theft , why not make the tenants get insurance before they enter the flat to cover these losses and damages caused .
5.I don't know about this not come across it but the fine sounds good.
don't they just ,they will never know.

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Mick Roberts on BBC Radio Nottingham