Landlords in Wales with tenancies up to £100,000 a year are reminded they will automatically default to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) from the 1st December 2011. If the landlord has taken a deposit for such a tenancy, it may need to be protected.
From next month, the AST threshold will increase to include all tenancies with annual rent up to £100,000 – up from the current £25,000.
Tenants will benefit from the change as they will be covered by tenancy deposit protection under an AST. Landlords will be able to use “off-the-shelf” tenancy agreements.
Both parties will also have access to free alternative dispute resolution (ADR) if there is a disagreement over the return of the deposit, rather than having to go to court.
Deposits taken before 6 April 2007 do not have to be protected unless the tenancy agreement has been renewed. Letting agents should also notifying their clients about the need to protect deposits in a government-approved scheme, such as my|deposits.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, my|deposits, said:
“The threshold increase is excellent news for tenants in Wales paying higher rents, who will now have the security of knowing their deposit must be protected.
“By using my|deposits, landlords can continue to hold onto the deposit money themselves during the tenancy, and deal directly with the tenant when the time comes for them to move out.
“They will benefit from our dispute resolution service if there is a disagreement over the return of the deposit. Any dispute can thus be sorted out by us, rather than relying on a lengthy court procedure.”
Landlords who fail to protect a deposit on an assured shorthold tenancy can face penalties.