Deposit protection & change of TA without LA

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    Deposit protection & change of TA without LA

    A slightly complex, two pronged question.

    We are tenants in a property paying over £25k p/a, so non-AST. We commenced the tenancy in February of this year, and the house is owned by a couple we knew briefly as acquaintances, and therefore they did not pay a finders fee for us to the LA, but DID pay a fee for them to draw up the TA. The agreement we currently have is for 12m with a break at 6m. The landlord is living in Australia on a 2 year contract with their employer.

    Our personal circumstances changed and where we thought we would be leaving the property sometime this summer, it looks more likely to be next summer. To ensure both parties had security, we asked the LL if we could have the contract changed to 18m with a break at 12m. They then asked the LA to make this change.

    Then, both us and the landlord were very disatisfied with the service from the agent, and we agreed that he would manage the property, and he advised the agent that they were no longer needed for property management. However, he totally disinstructed them, and this has caused our predicament. We are on the wrong term of TA (even though they were asked to do it weeks and weeks previously), and now it looks like we're not protected.

    1. Our deposit is held by the LA as per out TA, and it is covered by the TDS. The LA has advised both me and the LL that as they have been totally disinstructed then they will hand back our deposit to the LL, and we have no independent support in the event of a dispute. I was horrified at this as it is such a large amount, and they have since advised instead that the DPS can hold our deposit. My question is, is this the case, and will we need to change our TA to reflect the change from the DPS to TDS.

    2. My second question is that the bones of the TA we had from the agent are fine, but clearly we want to change the length of the contract, and probably the deposit bit aswell. Can we do this ourselves, and both parties sign it as we did originally, and would this then be as legally binding as if the TA had done it?

    Your help and advice greatly appreciated. Thanks

    #2
    It would be worth paying a solicitor to amend the agreement for you to address your specific requirements.

    This should not be too much trouble and should cost less than £200 (approx 1hr's work), which I guess you and the LL could split evenly.

    One of the other lawyers on this forum (such as Jeffrey) may be happy to oblige.

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      #3
      Originally posted by thegamebird View Post
      they have since advised instead that the DPS can hold our deposit. My question is, is this the case, and will we need to change our TA to reflect the change from the DPS to TDS.
      From TDS' T&C:
      Members must promptly inform the tenants, and within no more than 10 working days, of those properties covered by TDS that they are transferring to another Member (or manager); or otherwise are ceasing to manage or own their properties. They must also tell them who is now managing the property and confirm either that:
      13.2.1 the rules of TDS still apply (if the new manager is already a member of TDS) or;
      13.2.2 that their deposit will be covered by another specified, designated scheme (if the new manager is not a member of TDS).
      The DPS does not require clauses to be inserted into the tenancy contract.

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