Countdown to changes for tenancy deposit protection

Landlords are once again reminded that although, from April 6, they are being given more time to protect their tenants’ deposits, penalties will be much more strictly enforced.

 

The changes, which come into force on Good Friday, will give landlords and letting agents 30 days to protect their tenant’s deposit, an increase from the current 14 days.

 

Crucially, the tenant must be provided with proof of the deposit protection and the Prescribed Information by the landlord or agent within this 30-day limit.

 

If the deposit is not 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 has announced that it will accept the late protection of deposits by landlords and agents after the 30-day period. However, it warns that the tenant can still seek compensation even if the deposit is protected after the 30-day period, but before going to court. Tenants can also make a claim after they have left the property.

 

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of 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.”

 

The mydeposits scheme has brought out a fact sheet about the changes, available here:

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