Tag Archives: Deposit Protection

Landlord power can and will get Deposit Protection rules clarified Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Landlord power can and will get Deposit Protection rules clarifiedThe potential implications of the ruling that a Statutory Periodic Tenancy is a new tenancy, according to the Court of Appeal ruling in Superstrike Ltd vs Rodruigues, has reverberated around the industry at lightening speed. Every popular landlord forum, blog and Facebook group has carried articles and thousands have been motivated to express concern. Indeed, my own article had over 3,000 readers and 100 comments left within just one day.

My initial reaction was one of pure panic and terror for what the implications might be. However, with time I have come to realise that once the powers that be recognise the implications of not adding further clarity to the legislation, I suspect we will receive the clarity we need.

So what is the ideal outcome we should all be hoping for? Continue reading Landlord power can and will get Deposit Protection rules clarified


Deposit Protection Providers call emergency meeting following Court of Appeal Ruling Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Deposit Protection Providers call emergency meeting following Court of Appeal RulingMark Alexander, editor and founder of Property118 tweeted the Deposit Protection Providers last night highlighting his fears on the ramifications of the Superstike vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of Appeal case. They are calling emergency meetings.

See the response below and read their interim press statement.

 

Interim Press Statement from the Deposit Protection providers

Court of Appeal – Superstrike Ltd v Rodrigues

A joint statement from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, MyDeposits and The Deposit Protection Service

We have read with interest the latest judgment from the Court of Appeal on deposit protection. Whilst landlords and lettings agents need to take their own legal advice, we will be considering the implications of this judgment for deposit protection and the service of Prescribed information. We will also need to consult the DCLG on this and we will be issuing a further joint statement when we have fully considered the matter.

Justin Selig from The Law Depatment and Landlord Action said:-

I, together with my colleagues at Landlord Action have looked into this in some detail today – we do agree with Mark – this is potentially very serious, but when looked at in detail – it does not make any sense at all.

Firstly, if you are a Landlord and your Tenant occupies your property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and you have taken a deposit from your Tenant, then this applies to you. If you have not taken a deposit, then you have nothing to worry about.

If you have taken a deposit at the beginning of the fixed term of the tenancy, and the tenant remains in the property beyond the expiry of the fixed term, then according to this case the periodic tenancy is deemed to be a “new” tenancy. According to the rules relating to deposit protection, a deposit for a new tenancy needs to be protected.

The Court of Appeal ruling states that a deposit is deemed to be received at each renewal – so in the case they were dealing with, the switch from fixed term to periodic meant that a new deposit was deemed to have been received – and because the time it was received was after April 2007 it therefore required protection for that particular tenancy.

I think the arguments as to whether or not this issue applies to deposits received pre or post April 2007 are irrelevant as all deposits being held today (regardless of when they have been received) must be protected by virtue of the Localism Act 2011.

The question is, therefore – where you are holding a protected deposit – do you need to re-protect it each time there is a renewal of a tenancy? At present, I think the answer to that question is, yes – but hopefully I will be proved wrong on this.

Therefore, anyone who is holding a deposit received at the beginning of a fixed term is required to re-protect that deposit when it moves to a periodic. There is a further problem which may hopefully highlight how this does not make sense. A periodic tenancy is deemed to be renewed at the expiry of each period. Therefore, if you follow the argument – this would mean that the deposit would need to be re-protected at the beginning of each period. Most periodic tenancies are monthly – so the deposit would need to be re-protected monthly.

Obviously this does not make sense, nor I am sure is this the intention of the legislation. So how does a Landlord protect himself?

The first thing I would do is to obtain written clarification from the deposit protection company you are using as to their take on the ruling, and comply with their recommendations. Secondly, as a minimum, and you have a fixed term tenancy about to go onto a periodic, you should at least protect your deposit again when it goes periodic. (Personally, I would actually return the deposit to the tenant – but I appreciate that this is not always practical.) Thirdly, and for belt and braces protection – where you are still holding the deposit, you may want to consider not allowing the tenancy to go onto periodic, but to re-issue the tenant with a new fixed term – and re-protecting the deposit for that fixed term.

I hope that the Landlord does decide to appeal this decision and take it to the Supreme Court as some further clarification is definitely needed.


Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of Appeal Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Superstike vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of AppealMy reading of a recent Court of Appeal ruling (Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues) is that thousands of possession orders may have been granted in error due to lack of clarity in Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation.

What’s worse is that the vast majority of landlords may have inadvertently broken the law and face bankruptcy!

Scary stuff hey?!

So what is it all about? Continue reading Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues Tenancy Deposit Protection Court of Appeal


Taking over the management from my agent Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Taking over the management from my agentHello all, Ive recently taken over the management of some of my houses from a letting agent.

I’ve received monies which are the tenants deposits with instruction from agent to put in a Deposit protection scheme.

Can I use these deposits as “rent in advance”.

Would I need to have new shorthold tenancy agreements?

Thanks for any help and advice

Gary Lycett


Ask me anything – I am a …. Ask Me Anything, Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

AskMeAnything

Property118.com is recently created a new group of forums called “Ask Me Anything”

These forums are hosted exclusively by Property118 Members who are experienced and qualified experts in a particular field relating to property.

By way of examples, the forums might be called ….. Continue reading Ask me anything – I am a ….


Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne Edgecombe Latest Articles

Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne EdgecombeBeing a regular reader of Property118 I felt I would like to express my gratitude for this free website by writing a testimonial for the online property management company which Mark Alexander referred me to.

I submitted a “Readers Questions” article and several GOOD Landlords made a big effort to respond and offer me advice. This is the first time I have let out this property so I’m very much a “newbie”.

Having initially used a High Street Letting Agent and had 2 potential tenants drop out at the 11th hour costing me several months of lost income, I went looking for alternative support. I found an online property management company who have inventory clerks based in many Cities in the UK. Unfortunately they don’t have a local agent in the town where my property is yet but that didn’t prevent me from doing business with them. I had always imagined online companies would lack a degree of creativity and flexibility so I was delighted when we quickly found a way round the lack of agent presence and tailored a service for my individual situation.

They advertised the property on all the major property portals for me and I soon had a good supply of tenants to arrange viewings for. I was fortunate in that I was able to elicit the help of a close neighbour, who was happy to conduct the viewings on my behalf.   Having found a lady who liked the property and who I felt would make a good tenant, the referencing was done by the agent. They appointed an independent inventory clerk at their expense and, after discussions and advice regarding the paperwork I required for the tenant handover, I carried out the check-in myself. A copy of the signed rental contract, deposit protection and prescribed information forms from DPS and the inventory had already been sent to the tenant, and all other legal paperwork for the tenant information file is now uploaded on the tenant’s log-in area reducing my workload tremendously. On the handover day I was able to minimise the paperwork to key and other releases plus the equipment instructions file. My new agents will also be managing the rent collection for me.

The office staff were incredibly patient with my copious amounts of questions and the anxiety one feels ‘the first time’ and all that. 🙂  I couldn’t have wished for better support.

And the best bit was the cost!

How much do you think I am pay for this service?

Well, considering that most of the other ARLA lettings I spoke to wanted up-front fees of around £200 +VAT, plus 10% of rent + VAT, I figured that based on the rent I am charging (£895 pcm) the typical cost over the year would be £1,274 for a similar service. I am paying £14.99 pcm plus VAT plus say £50 in petrol and about 5 hours of my time to do the check in. In total, I have calculated that I will save around £1,262.80 over the year which equates to about 82.6% off the market norm.

If you are looking for a cost effective alternative to using a High Street letting agent I strongly recommend the firm Property118 introduced me to. They are knowledgeable, friendly and creative as well as being extremely competitive in terms of price. They are also members of ARLA and The Property Ombudsman so I also know they have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance too. What more could any landlord possibly ask for?

Thanks to Property118 for the excellent introduction. As a result of this I also became a member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign.

Regards

Suzanne Edgecombe

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Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlordsI am a non-exec Director of Letting Supermarket, an ARLA member letting agency which we have been recommending to Property118 readers since the end of 2012.

The feedback received from landlords we’ve referred has been superb with savings of 50% or more being reported when compared to other ARLA member letting agents. Continue reading Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords


Capita enter Tenancy Deposit Protection Price War Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Capita enter Tenancy Deposit Protection Price WarIf you didn’t already know, there are now four Deposit Protection providers in England and Wales and between them they have seven schemes, all with different rules!

The new kids on the block are a corporate giant called Capita, a FTSE 100 company. You may not have heard of them before as they generally service contract for their clients without using their own brand. Did you know that Capita administer TV licencing?

Should the other Tenancy Deposit Protection providers be worried?

Well when it comes to pricing Capita could theoretically crush their competition. A business of that size could probably put the other providers out of business by offering TDP free for a couple of years and then owning the monopoly. Early signs though are that’s not what they will be doing, however, they are putting the pressure on by undercutting their competition enough for it to hurt.

Gareth Kings, managing director of Capita TDP, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, said: “Building upon our proven track record in both the property and insurance sectors, we hope to bring a fresh approach to deposit protection, providing a simpler, cost-effective solution for protecting tenants’ deposits.” Let’s hope he does just that but only time will tell.

I could save money by moving to Capita but I will not consider moving for at least a year in much the same way as I don’t install new Windows software straight away. Yet another set of TDP scheme rules to learn is not something I relish any more than having just had to learn how to find my way around Windows 8. I will probably wait for the legal eagles to pour over the rules and I will listen to their critique. I will then consider the outcome of the tribunals and no doubt read up on comparisons between the schemes, especially in terms of how many landlords win/lose their cases.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had a despot dispute so arguably I have nothing to worry about and should go for the cheaper option. Nah, I’ll be sticking with MyDeposits until I hear of a better reason to switch than saving just a few pounds.

What are your thoughts?

 


Tenant Deposit Dispute Figures Looking Good Latest Articles

Tenant Deposit Dispute Figures Looking GoodThe ratio of deposit disputes in England & Wales is just over one per cent according to official figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The Government figures show that of the Seven million (7,052,255) deposits that have been protected since the launch of the legislation in 2007, only 91,802 have ended up requiring formal dispute adjudication – just 1.3 per cent. Continue reading Tenant Deposit Dispute Figures Looking Good


Deposit Deadline of May 15th in Scotland Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Scotland-flagLandlords in Scotland are urged to beat the deposit deadline and avoid huge penalties.

Over half of deposits for private tenancies in Scotland may not yet have been paid into a legally required tenancy deposit protection scheme – with just one week to go until the final deadline to sign up.

SafeDeposits Scotland, the leading provider of the tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland, says based on the latest figures as many as 56% of tenancies eligible for taking a deposit may not have yet had their deposits paid into a scheme.

According to the latest Scottish Government figures up to the end of March there are only 129,164 deposits submitted to a scheme – but there are 291,190 properties across Scotland signed up for landlord registration. (1)

From May 15 all deposits from privately rented properties must be secured into one of three government approved tenancy deposits protection schemes in Scotland, as part of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. The legislation has been phased in and May 15 is the final deadline for all properties. (2)

Glasgow based SafeDeposits Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords and the National Union of Students are now issuing a call to urge landlords to ensure they are signed up before the deadline to avoid facing financial penalties.

Director of Operations at SafeDeposits Scotland, Rebecca Johnston said, “These figures are to the end of March and while we would like to report a massive surge in the last month of landlords signing up to the scheme that hasn’t happened. We want landlords to know that we are here to guide them through this process. But there isn’t much time left. They must sign up to a scheme – or risk a financial penalty. No-one wants that.”

John Blackwood from Scottish Association of Landlords said, “While not all landlords will charge a deposit and more deposits may have been protected since the last count, the estimated figures paint a worrying picture about the potential number of properties not signed up.”

Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, said, “These statistics seem to indicate that many landlords have yet to sign up to tenancy deposit schemes, which will be a surprise to student tenants who are expecting to hear shortly from the schemes how much of their deposit they are due back. Landlords are liable for huge penalties if they don’t submit their tenants deposits to a scheme, and we would urge them to beat the deadline and sign up. We also urge student tenants to get in touch with their landlords to confirm they are aware of the deadline and signed up to a scheme.”


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