By Craig Smith


There has been yet another court case due to confusion around tenancy deposits and this one has sent the lettings industry into a spin about what does or doesn’t need to be done.

The case in question is Superstrike Vs Rodrigues where the Landlord had issued a section 21 notice for the tenants to vacate. The tenancy started before the tenant deposit protection came in on 6th April 2007. The issue with this case is that the tenancy actually started before 6th April 2007 and became periodic after that date. Once the tenancy had become periodic, it was deemed to be a new tenancy in the eyes of the law and therefore the deposit should have been registered. In turn, this meant that the Landlord could not rely on their Section 21 notice for the tenants to vacate.

The tenants challenged the notice that was issued as the deposit had not been protected in line with the Housing Act 2004 legislation. As the wording isn’t all that clear, a lot of Landlords could find themselves in a bad position if they have had long term tenants.

Right now, there will probably be a lot of Landlords checking their files to make sure they are within the law and with good reason! By not registering the deposit as it should have been a Landlord can find themselves not only unable to give notice to the tenant (they could but they would lose if it went to court!) but also having to pay back more than 3 times the deposit amount to the tenant.

Back in November 2012, there was a similar case that caused Landlords to make some important changes to their processes. The deposit may need to be protected, we already know that, but once the tenancy has gone to a periodic status it means that a new set of Prescribed Information needs to be issued to the tenants. This information should already have been provided to the tenant at day one and needs to be given again at the first periodic stage.

This is a process that we, as an agent, have already been doing for our Landlords to ensure that they are protected and not at risk from such cases. It is a very rare instance but one that could have major consequences for any Landlord involved. The deposit protection schemes are yet to release anything further on what they advise Landlords to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation