Landlords given more time to protect deposits

Landlords and letting agents are being given more time to protect their tenant’s deposits, but penalties for failing to protect will be more strictly enforced, under changes to the Localism Bill.

The changes, which will come into force from 6 April 2012, will give landlords and letting agents 30 days to protect their tenant’s deposit, an increase from the current 14 days.

The tenant must be provided with proof of the deposit protection and the Prescribed Information within this 30 day limit by the landlord or agent.

If the deposit isn’t protected, courts will be able to order the landlord or agent to pay the tenant between one and three times the deposit amount as penalty.  They will also be unable to seek possession of the property using a Section 21 notice until the penalty is settled.

mydeposits will accept the late protection of deposits by landlords and agents after the 30 day period. However the tenant can still seek compensation even if the deposit is protected after the 30 day period, but before going to court.  They can also make a claim after they have left the property.

Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits, said:

“These changes to the Localism Bill will close a loophole which saw some landlords escape penalty, despite not protecting the deposit properly or protecting it late.

“It will help give tenants certainty that their deposit is being protected and strengthen penalties for those landlords who try to ignore their obligations.

“By using mydeposits, landlords and letting agents can be assured the deposit is protected as legally required and our Deposit Protection Certificate, along with the Information for Tenants leaflet, ensures our members provide their tenants with proof of this protection.”

To download a factsheet about the changes, visit http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/landlords/resources-and-guides/guides

Factsheet: http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/default/files/Changes%20to%20TDP%20for%20Landlords.pdf

For more information about my|deposits, visit www.mydeposits.co.uk or call 0844 980 0290