Lead Tenant - deposit protection

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    Lead Tenant - deposit protection

    Is it right to say that the Lead Tenant is only a point of contact between the deposit scheme, landlord and tenant – an admin role as it were – and has no real legal bearing? I have a tenant who was nominated Lead Tenant under a joint AST. He remained in the flat after the joint tenancy ended as a sole tenant - was it really necessary for me to update the deposit protection? My agent ( who takes care of the tenancy for me ) told me we didn't have to do anything because it was the former Lead Tenant who was remaining and the deposit could just transfer over - 'roll over' I think she said. This happened six months ago.

    Now reading some of threads on this forum I believe I may be at fault.

    I don't have any intention of taking possession - just need reassuring.

    #2
    Did you give him a new AST in his name only or has the previous joint tenancy continued?
    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

    Comment


      #3
      The sole tenant began a new tenancy.
      All of the requirements of a new tenancy are necessary (deposit and PI, the correct how to rent booklet, EPC, physical check of alarms) as there is no run on from the previous tenancy at all.

      If the deposit was/is in an insured scheme it probably isn't protected at all.
      If its in a custodial scheme, it may just be the PI that's missing - but the deposit rules have probably been broken, so it's probably also not protected.

      Your agent was wrong.
      Not, I guess, the reassurance you sought.
      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


        #4
        Only the remaining tenant signed the renewal.

        Comment


          #5
          So the agent is actually wrong about the Lead Tenant status ?

          The deposit is in an insurance scheme - the agent holds the money.

          Comment


            #6
            The AST is a new one so the deposit needs to be protected again and all the relevant documents JPK mentions needs to be reserved. A new premium needs to be paid to the scheme informing them of new AST details. Deposit protection is specific to the AST.

            Once again another example of how ill informed agents are getting landlords into hot water.
            Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

            Comment


              #7
              I will contact the agent immediately and find out why they think the Lead Tenant matter is so important.

              Hopefully we can sort this out as soon as possible and update the protection.

              I'm a little worried though about any future action the tenant might take because of my agent's ignorance.

              Comment


                #8
                It did need to be reprotected, but as per another thread that's ongoing you should actually return the original deposit and request another for the sole tenancy.

                That deposit does not belong to your sole tenant and it is up to him to distribute it back to the original tenants. If he chooses not to do so then that's a matter for them to chase up with him not you.

                It is my belief (and I'm not legally qualified) that if you do this now and take a new deposit which you protect and issue PI within 30 days for, you may protect yourself from any later penalty claim.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Does an actual cheque need to be raised for the return of the deposit or can it all be done notionally so that the money just stays where it is for the new tenancy ?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Chris Bell View Post
                    I will contact the agent immediately and find out why they think the Lead Tenant matter is so important.

                    .
                    Let us know what they say.
                    Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      In case there is any doubt on the date you actually received deposit (bearing in mind you have 30 days to ensure its protected correctly and PI served) I would physically return the deposit.

                      Explain to your now tenant that this is the return of the original deposit as it does not solely belong to him and can't be accepted on new tenancy.

                      Advise him that a new deposit is now due. He may well give you the same cash back but your signed paperwork will say deposit paid on XX date and you can protect it accordingly

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Chris Bell View Post
                        Does an actual cheque need to be raised for the return of the deposit or can it all be done notionally so that the money just stays where it is for the new tenancy ?
                        If the original deposit is deemed returned and paid back to landlord/agent to reprotect however the tenant can claim that it was paid back 6 months ago and not protected.

                        So as far as you are concerned you DO NOT hold a deposit for the current tenancy.
                        Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Which makes me think as well why the previous tenants did not ask for their deposit back? Or did they claim it from your sole tenant?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Wright advice seems logical( i.e get the date documented that the deposit for the new AST was received) Or you can instruct the agent to return the deposit now and get it in writing that the new AST has NO deposit and leave it at that. Obliviously that means you will not have a deposit for the new AST, but it also means there can be no come back later.
                            If the tenant takes the view the original deposit was not returned and deemed repaid for a the new AST he may have a case.

                            Remember to also re-serve EPC, GAS cert, Latest HOW TO LET booklet.
                            Any advice I give is my opinion and experience, I am as you also learning.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I left these matters for my agent - who is unreachable today - but I do know that there was no break between the tenancies - one ended the other immediately started. There must have been some kind of agreement between the two former tenants regarding the deposit - hence the simple 'roll over' mentioned by the agent.

                              Comment

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