Tenancy Deposit Protection query

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Tenancy Deposit Protection query

    I entered into an AST for six months in November of 2019. On the same date I signed the Tenancy Agreement, I paid a deposit of £801.66 representing one month's rent. The letting agent never provided me with any information whatsoever regarding protection of my deposit. At that time as a first time tenant in the UK, I was not even aware he was required by law to do so.

    At the end of the 6 months I renewed in May 2020 for a further 5 months and at the same monthly rent. I then assumed the deposit carried over to the new contract since the terms were all the same.

    At the end of the 5 months I renewed the tenancy in October 2020 for 12 months, but this time the rent was reduced to £780 per month, everything else remaining the same. No information about the deposit was provided at that time either. I assumed the same deposit was used for the new contract as well, even though at the time I did not think of the disparity that now existed in the amount of the new monthly rate and the initial deposit.

    Sometime in 2020 it transpired that between November 2019 and June 2020 the property had been an unlicensed HMO and the council advised us, the tenants at that time, that we could make an application for a Rent Repayment Order for that period. It was then that the issue of whether my deposit was protected came up. Upon enquiring with the letting agent, I was given a certificate number for TDS. Upon entering the number in the website's deposit checker, the deposit protection certificate showed that the deposit of £801.66 for the AST renewed in October 2020 was registered with TDS in late March 2021.Searches for the same deposit on the dates when the AST was first entered into in November 2019 and when it was renewed in May 2020 come up empty.

    My question is: was the landlord/agent obligated to protect the deposit again on each renewal of the AST and to send me prescribed information within 30 days of doing so? If he didn't, what is his liability now?

    Thank you.

    #2
    Originally posted by Paul65 View Post
    My question is: was the landlord/agent obligated to protect the deposit again on each renewal of the AST and to send me prescribed information within 30 days of doing so? If he didn't, what is his liability now?.
    If the tenancy was an AST in England or Wales, the landlord was required to protect the deposit and give you the Prescribed Information relating to it within 30 days of receiving it.
    Not doing so is a breach of the regulations.

    If the landlord had protected the deposit, they would not have needed to explicitly reprotect it and supply the Prescribed Information when the tenancy was replaced by an identical one, provided the tenants were the same. They would have been obliged to keep the deposit protected.

    However, because they hadn't previously protected it, the second tenancy (it's not a "renewal", it's a new replacement) is a second breach.
    However, you say that you "assumed[d]" the deposit carried forward, and if there is nothing in the new agreement to reference a deposit, it's possible for the landlord to argue that there isn't one. They possible won't succeed.

    The same is true of the third tenancy in October 2020.

    Protecting the deposit is March 2021 doesn't correct these issues.

    The lack of protection means that the landlord can't serve a valid section 21 notice on you without returning the deposit to you.
    You can claim a penalty of between 1 and 3 times the deposit value from the landlord (a court would set the multiple) and you can claim for each separate breach. So you would be claiming for between £2404.98 and 7214.94 (plus the value of the deposit itself).

    The disparity of the deposit and the rent amount doesn't really matter, the landlord can charge up to 5 weeks rent as a deposit and the value of the deposit is still below that level.

    Whether you do any of that, or pursue the RRO, is, obviously a matter for you and how your relationship with your landlord has been.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you, jpkeates for taking the time to provide such a detailed explanation.

      The AST is in England. Sorry I forgot the important detail.

      The letting agents themselves refer to signing a new tenancy agreement as "renewing the contract," even stipulating in the agreement a £75 fee for doing so, which they have never insisted on, possibly because it's not enforceable(?). That confused me and made me wonder if there were 3 tenancies and one renewed contract, 3 tenancies and 3 agreements or one tenancy and one renewed contract. Do I understand you correctly to mean that there were 3 separate tenancies although all covered (?) by the same deposit, unprotected until March of 2021, and that each one constitutes a separate breach, therefore the "1 to 3 times the deposit x 3" calculation?

      Each one of the 3 tenancy paper agreements I signed with them has a specific page titled TENANCY AGREEMENT (FOR A FURNISHED FLAT OR HOUSE ON AN ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY) detailing all the particulars: the property, the landlord, the tenant, the room, the term in months, the beginning, the end, the monthly rent amount and the very last one the is the deposit itself of £801.66.


      Thank you again.

      Comment


        #4
        Paul65 It's not actually possible to "renew" or extend a tenancy, although it makes perfect sense for people to use the expressions in normal conversation.
        As far as I can see what you have there are three tenancy agreements and three separate, but connected tenancies, where the second and third would be "follow on" tenants in some regulations (because they have the same property, landlord and tenant and the start date of the later one is the day after the previous one).

        If the deposit is protected to the right deadline, it is deemed to have been done for any follow on tenancies, but that didn't happen in your case,

        So, yes " 3 separate tenancies although all covered (?) by the same deposit, unprotected until March of 2021, and that each one constitutes a separate breach, therefore the "1 to 3 times the deposit x 3" calculation" is probably correct.

        Being awarded the penalty isn't particularly easy, though, so don't assume it's just going to arrive any time soon.
        You might be able to do a deal with the landlord, but I'm not sure I'd try it while still a tenant of theirs.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment

        Latest Activity

        Collapse

        • Reply to S21 served expired EPC!
          by Worriednow
          Unfortunately I simply renewed the tenancy like I have been on a yearly basis. So when I last renewed with them I didn't give a EPC, we just renewed amicably. It's only since serving the S21 notice that I realised I should have given them the EPC when they renewed last year, except it had already expired...
          24-09-2021, 08:25 AM
        • S21 served expired EPC!
          by Worriednow
          Hi All
          Hope you can help. I served a S21 notice on my tenants giving them 6 months notice to leave. The actual tenancy expired in August 2021 but with the Covid rules i had to give 6 months notice which means they have to be out by November.

          The notice was served May this year but...
          23-09-2021, 20:02 PM
        • Reply to Utilities Account Manager
          by michaelwgroves
          I was with Spark for my home for several years, now park of OVO. I remember it was fine. I might call them to see what they can do...
          24-09-2021, 08:20 AM
        • Utilities Account Manager
          by michaelwgroves
          I have a large portfolio, I got tired of spending ours on the phone each week managing utilities between tenancies. I found a utility company that gave me a dedicated account team. I simply email the tenancy change and it gets sorted. However, there are a few challenges they are struggling to overcome,...
          22-09-2021, 07:15 AM
        • Reply to Dispute deposit based on damage that landlord didn't repair?
          by Hooper
          Sounds like a poor LL. But if the damage is not noted on check-in and is listed on check out, then rightly or wrongly the evidence is in LL favour, surely?

          If there was damage at check-in and it was not noted on the report, then it is the tenant's responsibility to have the report amended....
          24-09-2021, 08:08 AM
        • Dispute deposit based on damage that landlord didn't repair?
          by kankan
          Hello everyone,

          After signing the contract, but before moving in, the flat suffered some flood damage. 3 rooms needed repainting because of water stains and paint falling off.
          We were promised that this will be taken care of after moving in. We followed up several times, but the repairs...
          22-09-2021, 19:26 PM
        • Reply to S21 served expired EPC!
          by KTC
          Did you give them a copy of it while it was valid, or only after it expired when you served the s21?

          "The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant."
          ...
          24-09-2021, 07:58 AM
        • Reply to What to do if letting agent stops to pay out
          by jpkeates
          Amended version....
          24-09-2021, 07:58 AM
        • What to do if letting agent stops to pay out
          by maxima
          I feel my letting agent is going under. He delayed rent payout in last 2 months. And I heard 2 of his other tenants suing him. This month he hasn't send the money for few days.

          What's the correct strategy to deal with it? I have no other source of income. How do I plug the money bleeding...
          23-09-2021, 20:26 PM
        • Reply to S21 served expired EPC!
          by jpkeates
          The requirement is that whoever serves the section 21 notice has complied with regulation 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012.

          Which says that "The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free...
          24-09-2021, 07:56 AM
        Working...
        X