The Residential Landlords Association provides information in regards to tenancy deposits

Residential Landlords Association (RLA)

Image: Residential Landlords Association (RLA)

A message from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) in regards to the recent case where the court imposed the maximum penalty to a landlord over ‘minor’ omission of prescribed information.

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A recent case with regards to tenancy deposits has to come to light and highlighted the importance of doing things correctly and within the deadlines!

In the case Ayannuga v Swindells, it appears that the landlord had protected the deposit and served the prescribed information, but did not include the scheme’s leaflet which formed part of the prescribed information.

The landlord argues that the leaflet was generally available on the scheme’s website for the tenant to find, and whilst the initial judge accepted this argument, the Court of Appeal did not.

The court awarded the tenant the full penalty of three times the amount of the deposit, the landlord had to return the deposit in full and will most likely be ordered to pay all the tenants legal costs.

Let us clarify the rules…

The landlord must comply with the initial requirements of the scheme they are using to protect the deposit. Normally, this means:

  1. Protect a tenant’s deposit in one of the three government approved schemes within 30 days of receiving the money.
  2. Issue the tenant and any relevant person (e.g. someone who has paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant) with the following documents
    - A completed copy of the Prescribed Information, including any scheme leaflet
    - A copy of the tenancy deposit protection certificate

It is worth checking out if the scheme you are using, exactly what you must do to comply.

Forgot something?

Unfortunately if you are outside the 30 day deadline you will already be liable to the above penalties but there is a lack of cases with regards to the new rules so the recommendation is to serve any missing documents immediately.

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It’s always good to stay informed in regards to the importance of Tenancy Deposit Schemes and Young London has its own TDS guide that we freely provide to all applicants when they view one of our properties.

 

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About Kelly Smith
Head of Contracts and Compliance at Young London