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Update for Residential Landlords

Deregulation Bill 2015 – Tenancy Deposits

The Deregulation Bill 2015 aims to bring the current laws regarding tenancy deposits up to date with recent case law. The Bill is set to be read for the third time by the House of Lords on March 4 2015.

It is expected that to receive Royal Assent before the dissolution of Parliament 30th March 2015.

Effects on Tenancy Deposits for Landlords

The Bill may affect you if you are a landlord with Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) tenants that have provided you with deposit.

Assured Short Hold Tenancy deposit obtained before 6th April 2007

If the following apply:

  • AST began before 6th April 2007 and a deposit was obtained
  • AND; The AST subsequently turned into a rolling periodic tenancy

This new Bill will treat the periodic tenancy as a new tenancy and therefore the provisions relating to the protection of deposits will apply.

If this applies to your AST then this Bill allows 90 days from the date it gains Royal Assent for you to comply with the tenancy deposit scheme provisions of the Housing Act 2004. This 90 day period may be earlier if the court makes a determination regarding S21 possession proceedings or for an application under Section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 following the Royal Assent of the Bill.

Any landlord of a tenancy that became periodic before the tenancy deposit scheme came into force on 6 April 2007 should protect those deposits. The Bill confirms that there is no financial penalty for failing to do so.

Assured Short Hold Tenancy deposit obtained after 6th April 2007

If the following apply:

  • a deposit for an AST was taken after 6th April 2006
  • AND placed in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
  • AND complied with TDS legislation
  • AND then the AST became a periodic tenancy and the same deposit was retained in the same TDS

Then the original compliance will suffice and no action needs to be taken when the new type of tenancy begins.

What if I have put the deposit in a TDS?

Section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 enables the court to award tenants up to 3 times the amount of the deposit if it is not protected when it should be. If the deposit is not protected when it should be it could affect your ability to obtain possession of the property.

If you have not protected a deposit for an Assured Short Hold Tenancy then you should contact us to find out how.

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Dated: 25/02/2015

Author: Adam Ali

Landlord - Residential Letting Contract

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