Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation changes at midnight on 5th April DO NOT GET CAUGHT OUT!

by Mary Latham

16:00 PM, 12th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation changes at midnight on 5th April DO NOT GET CAUGHT OUT!

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Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation changes at midnight on 5th April DO NOT GET CAUGHT OUT!

I am going to keep it simple I have written two articles with full details but here is the short version including TWO NEW WARNINGS

  • A tenant’s deposit must be protected within 30 days of taking it for all deposits taken on or after 6th April.
  • Existing deposits that were taken more than 30 days ago must be protected by midnight on 5th April.
  • When you sign up a new AST and rollover a deposit this is deemed to be a new tenancy and the deposit must be protected again if it is covered by one of the insured schemes.
  • Any monies taken to cover loss of rent or damages or losses to landlords property is a deposit regardless of the name it may be given.
  • A guarantee or bond is not a deposit unless money changes hands and does not need to be protected.
  • A deposit protection fee may not be charged to the tenant but an admin fee can be charged for unspecified administration services.
  • The protection fee is tax deductible.
  • The deposit protection certificate and prescribed information must be given to the tenant(s) and to any third party who provided the deposit.
  • A Section21 notice will not be enforceable unless:
  1. The deposit was protected within 30 days or has been returned to the tenant prior to the issue of the S21 Notice
  2. The deposit protection certificate and prescribed information was given to all tenants and any 3rd parties involved

TWO NEW WARNINGS

  • If you are using the custodial scheme make certain that you give them valid contact details for the lead tenant, failure to do so meant that last autumn according to the DPS website –
  • “Over 8,000 deposit repayments valuing almost £5 million are waiting for the response of the lead tenant before the deposit can be repaid”.

I don’t imagine that these tenants expected their deposits to be returned, otherwise I would have thought that they would be chasing DPS and it is fairly safe to assume that much of this money is due to landlords.
One of the mistakes often made by landlords who let to students is to give the DPS the students’ university email address which is closed when the student graduates.

  • The deposit must be protected in the name of the registered property owner (landlord) unless you are registered with one of the schemes as an Agent

Last week I received a call from a landlord who has 150 deposits protected with one of the insured schemes. During a dispute it became known to the scheme that the deposit in question was protected in the name of the landlord’s son after they had spot checked at Land Registry! The scheme has said that this deposit protection is invalid. It appears that many of this landlord’s deposits were protected in his sons name and now they must be newly protected before midnight on 5th April otherwise they will fall foul of the legislative changes. Ouch!

There are many potholes in the road for landlords, but tenants deposit protection is about to become a minefield and I hope you will forgive me for banging on. I will only post further warnings if I become aware of new issues.

The articles where more details can be found are here

The Devil is in the detail

Further warnings to landlords about tenants deposit protection



Comments

13:27 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

I've been trying for the past 3 weeks to put a deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme but keep getting error pages at a certain point in the process. I have been in contact with them and they say that the website is working properly but I have tried 5 different computers. Every time you send an email to them it takes 5 days to receive a reply. I have phoned them up and am now waiting for paper forms to submit the deposit but already I am over the 14 days under the current rules.

19:10 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Don't bother sign up to mydeposits and hold the monies yourself I never have any issue with mydeposits they  are brilliant as far as I am concerned.

020 82753260

Is the no for mydeposits rather than their silly profiteering 0844 no.
Online access is great aswell.
I have never had a problem with mydeposits.

Mary Latham

22:55 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Sarah it is in the Housing Act 2004 and has not changed.  I do see your point but in fact it is part of the administration involved in setting up a tenancy

Mary Latham

22:57 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

The Housing Act 2004 specifically precludes us from changing the protection fee to the tenant but if the AST makes it clear the landlord can keep the interest on deposits held and can claim the fee against the tax payable on the rental income

Mary Latham

23:02 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Stevemasters When a new AST is signed this is legally a new tenancy and therefore all the procedure must be begun from scratch.  If the money is held in the custodial scheme it can remain there but the information must be given to the tenant again as part of the new contract.

An AST that is rolled into a Statutory Periodic (no new AST is signed) is considered to be a continuation of the orginal contract and nothing needs to be done.

I am not quite clear what you mean by when it is extended please explain

Mary Latham

23:03 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

If you have the paper trail to prove that you have been trying you should not have a problem and in any event until 6th April you are ok. 

Mary Latham

23:07 PM, 15th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Thank you for that post Paul. I am slow to answer this week because I have had lots of seminars and a refurb to sort out.

7:45 AM, 16th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Don't concern yourself Mary there is no expectation that you would reply; we all have our own domestic circumstances..
However it is much appreciated when you do reply but please don't feel that there is an expectation that you should reply..

Steve Masters

9:47 AM, 16th March 2012
About 8 years ago

Mary, by 'extended' I mean when the fixed term is extended and all other conditions remain the same as the original contract. That's the way my agency handles it, they just draw up a single page 'extension' for T & L to sign. Now that I have explained it, it seems like this is actually a new contract, just in a simplified form.

So, when I 'extend' a contract the money can stay in the custodial scheme but I still have to issue ALL the 'prescribed information' again! Bonkers!

I'm going to have to work this all out with my agent.

Mark Alexander

11:07 AM, 16th March 2012
About 8 years ago

It is not possible to extend an AST Steve, you are creating a new AST. If your agent thinks that can be done without re-protecting the tenants deposits it's time to start looking for another agent. If your agent is with ARLA, NALS, RICS or Property Ombudsman then you have a moral duty to report their incompetence, if indeed this is what they are doing.

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