Any reports of tenants successfully claiming 3 times deposit

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Any reports of tenants successfully claiming 3 times deposit

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Any reports of tenants successfully claiming 3 times deposit

I am about to issue section 21 notices on two of my properties, I plan to sell one property and return to the UK and move into the other one.

I issued new AST’s in July 2013 so they have about 2 months to run. As both tenancies have been in place for several years I never got around to protecting the tenancies (stupid I know).

My relationship with both sets of tenants is pretty good. Are any forum members aware of actual cases where tenants have applied for and been award the maximum allowable penalty.

Many thanks

Stephenthree



Comments

John Gell

4 years ago

Stephen,

There was a Scottish case last year. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23930567 and you'll find other references through Google.

The Sheriff awarded the maximum penalty because, I understand, he regarded the landlord as contemptuous of the requirement to lodge the deposit. His recorded comments in court certainly conveyed that impression.

Chris Amis

4 years ago

If the risk is 3x deposit and failure of s21, perhaps it is best to just return the deposit, I believe that clears the risk.

I hope so because I have one caught by Superstrike so returned the deposit, followed this suggestion.
http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2013/06/17/new-case-on-tenancy-deposits-received-before-april/

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi Stephen

There have been several such awards.

Best you can do is treat the tenants well and hope (for the next 6 years) that none of the following events occur:-

1) They decide they don't like you
2) They get desperate for money
3) They meet somebody who persuades them that the 3X deposit fine money is rightfully theirs

Sorry it's not better news for you.
.

Gilly

4 years ago

As far as I am aware you can't even issue a Section 21 Notice if you have not protected the deposit. The advice given is to return the deposit in full and then serve the notice.

If you have a good relationship with your tenants then explain what you want to do and ask them if they will leave so that you can sell/live in the property. You could even offer them the last month free whilst they find somewhere else - which would be cheaper than losing the deposit x 3.

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gilly " at "23/05/2014 - 20:48":

Good point Gilly, section 21 is indeed unenforceable if served whilst a landlord is holding an unprotected deposit.
.

Romain Garcin

4 years ago

Returning the deposit will not make your liability for the penalty go away, though it might sway a court into not awarding the full 3x deposit as penalty and will allow you to serve a valid s.21 notice.

I think in general if the deposit was not protected at all do expect the full 3x deposit as penalty.

Rob Crawford

4 years ago

What you do is a call of judgement that only you can make really. If you don't think they are aware of the way a deposit should be protected you could issue the S21 and keep quiet with the hope you won't have any problems.

Dr Rosalind Beck

4 years ago

Personally, what I would do is immediately protect the deposit with the DPS. Then, with any luck, your tenants will never realise you didn't do this before. Then, if in the future they hear about one of these no-win, no-fee firms offering to pursue their ex-landlords for this, they'll remember that their deposit was protected and not realise you didn't do it at the right time.

AA

4 years ago

Hi,

In response to Mark Alexander's comment regarding 6 years comeback, in Scotland there is only a 3 month comeback for a tenant to pursue a landlord if a landlord has not complied with deposit requirements . Thats right 3 MONTHS after the tenant having left the premises. I had to read mountains of paperwork to acquire this information. Scotland legislature has slightly more common sense than our breather south of the border.

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