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Tenancy deposit protection "still misunderstood by landlords"

Posted: 2nd June 2011   In: Commercial Property, Residential Conveyancing

It is now four years since tenancy deposit protection schemes were introduced yet some people still don’t realise they are a legal requirement, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA says it still gets calls from landlords and managing agents who have misunderstood the schemes and how they work.

One landlord thought he was exempt because he had a licensed Home in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Another HMO landlord wrongly believed that he didn’t have to protect tenants’ deposits until he had rented out all his available rooms.

The RLA also came across a managing agent who didn’t know the legal requirements even though he was responsible for nearly 200 properties.

Tenancy deposit protection was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. When a tenant pays a deposit, the landlord must arrange for it to be protected within an authorised scheme within 14 days.

He must also within 14 days, comply with any “initial requirements” imposed on him by the selected scheme and give the tenant certain information required under the Act including which scheme has been chosen.

If the landlord doesn’t comply with these initial requirements, the tenant can apply for an order that the deposit be repaid to him or placed in a scheme. If the court makes such an order, it must also order that the landlord pays a sum of three times the deposit to the tenant.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.