Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
I would really appreciate an opinion on this from those who might have been sued for more than three times deposit and any legal experts who post on here.
I am concerned about the many “ambulance chasing” legal firms around who are promising to get tenants awards of up to nine times deposit. While some of the claims would appear exaggerated, these solicitors would not guarantee no win no fee if there was a high chance of losing.
This is on the basis of a deposit not being protected at the start of the fixed term and remaining unprotected at the beginning of a statutory periodic rollover or subsequent renewal on the same material terms.
It seems to me that each housing expert and housing lawyer has a different opinion.
Some are saying the landlord’s liability is limited to x 3 deposit because of the Deregulation Act, including a respected housing solicitor and a barrister.
Others are saying that each renewal tenancy or SPT generates a new liability because it is technically a new tenancy if Section 215b of the Housing Act 2004 has not been complied with (that is, deposit wasn’t originally protected). Therefore, s.215b only affords protection from the double jeopardy situation created by Superstrike v Rodrigues for deposits protected at the beginning of the first fixed term.
It appears that the wording of the Deregulation Act, including amendments to the Housing Act 2004 could be clearer and is causing much confusion. The devil is clearly in the detail and it would seem to hang on what it doesn’t say, not what it does.
Thanks in advance for any input.
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