Residential Landlords Beware!


Residential landlords have been required to protect their assured shorthold tenant’s deposit in one of the statutory schemes since 6th April 2007.

In addition to protecting the deposit, a landlord must ensure that he/she provides the tenant with certain prescribed information relating to the tenant’s deposit. This must be done within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.

Failure to provide the prescribed information to the tenant could lead to the landlord being liable to pay a fine to the tenant of up to three times the amount of the deposit. A landlord who fails to supply the required information within the stipulated time period would also not be entitled to make use of the more cost effective and often speedier “accelerated procedure” in order to obtain an order for possession against the tenant. This could impede the landlord’s ability to evict a tenant.

It is therefore essential for a landlord not only to protect the tenant’s deposit but to provide all the required information within the prescribed time period. Landlords should beware of providing incomplete information.

Is it enough, however, to protect the deposit and supply the required information? What happens if a dispute arises and the tenant denies having received the required information within the time period?

In order for landlords to avoid such difficulties it is strongly recommended that landlords retain written proof of having supplied all the required information to the tenant within the 30 day time-limit. A good way of obtaining proof would be to have the tenant sign for the receipt of the required information on a copy of the documents on which all the information is actually provided. Should there be more than one document, the tenant should be asked to sign and date on each document and preferably initial each page. If the tenant refuses to sign, an independent witness may be asked to sign a statement to verify that all the required information was provided to the tenant and the date on which the information was provided.

For further information and a free initial consultation to discuss any legal issues relating to tenancy agreements contact us.

Roger Richards Solicitors – Professional service with the personal touch!