12 March 2012
Landlords and letting agents are being given more time to protect their tenant’s deposits, but penalties for failing to protect will be more strictly enforced, under changes to the Localism Bill.
The changes, which will come into force from 6 April 2012, will give landlords and letting agents 30 days to protect their tenant’s deposit, an increase from the current 14 days.
If the deposit isn’t protected, courts will be able to order the landlord or agent to pay the tenant between one and three times the deposit amount as penalty. They will also be unable to seek possession of the property using a Section 21 notice until the penalty is settled.
mydeposits will accept the late protection of deposits by landlords and agents after the 30 day period. However the tenant can still seek compensation even if the deposit is protected after the 30 day period, but before going to court. They can also make a claim after they have left the property.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits, said:
“These changes to the Localism Bill will close a loophole which saw some landlords escape penalty, despite not protecting the deposit properly or protecting it late.
“It will help give tenants certainty that their deposit is being protected and strengthen penalties for those landlords who try to ignore their obligations.
“By using mydeposits, landlords and letting agents can be assured the deposit is protected as legally required and our Deposit Protection Certificate, along with the Information for Tenants leaflet, ensures our members provide their tenants with proof of this protection.”
To download a factsheet about the changes, visit http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/landlords/resources-and-guides/guides
For more information about my|deposits, visit www.mydeposits.co.uk or call 0844 980 0290.
For further information, please contact:
T: 020 7840 8925
M: 07508 031 084
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Mydeposits is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver an insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from Communities & Local Government. Landlords and letting agents wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and register by visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk. Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible. In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.