tenancy deposit "prescribed information" latest ruling

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    tenancy deposit "prescribed information" latest ruling

    Hello,

    I have read the checklist regarding deposits:

    http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/tenan...hecklist.shtml

    I have a few concerns because of the latest ruling on April23. I used a lettings agent only for letting the property so they do not manage my property. Is it my responsibility to provide the tenant with the prescribed information form and leaflet?

    Do I have to do this personally so we both sign? I have protected the deposit with Mydeposit.co.uk, which issued an online certificate but I haven't personally ask the tenant to sign the form nor giving them the official "MyDeposit" leaflet? Is this an issue? Am i still liable?

    Thanks

    #2
    It's irrelevant what you employ an agent for, the buck ultimately stops with you. You will be liable for any non-compliance, your contract with agent may enable recovery for the sums through them.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

    Comment


      #3
      If you have protected the deposit, YOU have to provide the PI and T&Cs from the scheme to the tenant (not complulsory to get a signature, but proof of service/posting is a must). This must be done within 30 days of receipt of deposit.

      If your agents are protecting the deposit, they have the supply the PI, but you are still liable if it is not done, so you must ensure the agent does so and ask for proof. Failure to protect AND issue the PI within 30 days, leaves LL liable for tenant action to claim full deposit back and up to 3x the deposit value as a penalty. Tenant would sue you, but if you can prove the agent was suppose to protect and failed, you countersue the agent.

      As it seems you may have protected the deposit, but not provided the full PI, then you are in breach of the regulations!

      By the way, the PI stretches to 10 or more pages depending on which scheme you use (never used mydeposits myself). The single page online certificate is not enough!

      Comment


        #4
        OMG...I wasnt aware of this. what can I do? It's been 8 months and I haven't done this. what do you mean proof of service/posting? what can i do now to protect myself? Please any help would be much apprecited..thanks

        Comment


          #5
          There are two sanctions for non-compliance.

          1) If you failed to protect the deposit and/or failed to provide the prescribed information within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, then the T may claim against you for up to 3x the value of the deposit. Late compliance is not a defence. In other words, there's nothing you can do to put things right if you've missed the 30 day deadline.

          2) If you failed to protect the deposit within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, then you cannot serve a valid s.21 notice unless you first refund the deposit to the T. Alternatively, if you protected the deposit within the deadline but failed to provide the prescribed information within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, you cannot serve a valid s.21 notice unless you first provide the T with the prescribed information.

          Note, the two sanctions are completely separate.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by missterry View Post
            OMG...I wasnt aware of this. what can I do? It's been 8 months and I haven't done this. what do you mean proof of service/posting? what can i do now to protect myself? Please any help would be much apprecited..thanks
            Well you can't protect yourself from a possible claim, but providing the deposit was protected within 30 days of receipt, then you can give the tenant the 'prescribed information' now and any section 21 notice you serve after that is valid.

            I have discovered today that DPS have CHANGED the 'prescribed information' that needs to be given.
            http://www.depositprotection.com/doc...-custodial.pdf
            http://www.depositprotection.com/doc...-custodial.pdf

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the responses. I hope the tenant wont be aware of this or I will be screwed if they make a claim. The deposit is £1800 so 3 times that...oh lord.

              Im really worried now because the tenants may make a claim since I am having issues with them. What a ridiculous law this tenancy deposit is for landlords.

              I've never been to court in my life, I'm so scared Im not even getting good sleep.

              What happens if they sue me?

              Thanks once again for the heads up..I may have to come to terms with maybe being taken to court

              Comment


                #8
                I understand your distress but why do you feel this is a ridiculous law?

                What do you want to know about being sued? The process or the consequences? If the former, it can be quite complex but there are books available to explain the process step by step.
                You may also find this useful http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.u.../n208c-eng.pdf

                If the tenant were to make a claim against you, you it turn may be able to claim against the agency.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  If the tenant were to make a claim against you, you it turn may be able to claim against the agency.

                  But only if the agency received and were supposed to protect the deposit. OP suggest they have protected it themselves, so no involvement (or liability) of agents.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You're right! I guess it is not ridiculous after all. I do own up to it..it's my fault for not following the correct procedure regarding the tenant's deposit. Next time I'll know what to do and do it right.

                    Thanks for making me aware of the consequences of being sued. What about the process of being sued? Do I have to get a lawyer?

                    Thanks

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The penalty is only up to 3x the deposit.

                      If the tenant decides to pursue.

                      If they do, the chances are they will try to come to a mutually agreed settlement first anyway.

                      There have been very few successful claims for not serving the PI (perhaps for good reason).

                      There was a recent high profile case where the tenants were awarded 3x the deposit for non compliance with the PI. In that case the landlord admitted non compliance and said it was a ridiculous law (or words to that effect), the judge at the time agreed but it was later overturned on appeal;

                      http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2011/0...lties-awarded/

                      It's not worth losing sleep over.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        I understand your distress but why do you feel this is a ridiculous law?
                        Probably because a tenant could be granted a windfall of several thousand pounds for something that didn't negatively effect them in anyway shape or form.
                        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by missterry View Post
                          Do I have to get a lawyer?
                          If you are admitting it, I can't see the point in the extra expense, even in the unlikely event of it ever going to court.

                          You do realise this is just a petty civil offence and not criminal?
                          Not giving your tenant 10 sheets of nonsense (that they won't read anyway) doesn't make you Ronnie Biggs.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            LOL..Ronnie Biggs, that made me giggle. I didn't realise it is a petty civil offence.

                            So no need for laywer then. Is it best to just admit I didn't provide the prescribed information + leaflet to the tenant and settle? or best not to admit anything and go to court? what would you guys do?

                            Thanks once again for all the responses. I appreciate so much the help/suggestions I am getting on this forum. RLA.org.uk wants me to pay up £75 just to sign up to their forum...urghh

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The link below is a guide for new landlords. Make sure that you haven't missed anything else.

                              http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/...2&postcount=12

                              Comment

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