The Deregulation Act 2015 has been introduced to help clarify some of the requirements around protecting deposits, particularly those taken before 6 April 2007.
This new legislation in relation to tenancy deposits came into force on the 26 March, and was introduced following the Court of Appeal judgement in the case of Superstrike vs Rodrigues in June 2013.
How this will affect you
The key deposit protection changes affecting landlords and letting agents are:
• Deposits taken before 6 April 2007, for tenancies which have subsequently moved onto a periodic tenancy on or after this date, now need to be protected in a tenancy deposit protection scheme if the tenancy is still running. Landlords have until 23 June 2015 to protect the deposit or potentially face a fine.
• For deposits taken before 6 April 2007, where the tenancy became periodic before this date, landlords are not required to protect the tenant’s deposit. However, landlords won’t be able to serve a section 21 notice to regain possession of a property unless the deposit is protected.
• If a tenancy is renewed or rolls over on a periodic basis, landlords don’t need to reissue Prescribed Information to a tenant if the deposit remains with the same authorised scheme, and the parties and premises remain the same.
• The legislation has also clarified that the reference to ‘the landlord’ within the Prescribed Information includes those acting on behalf of the landlord, such as letting agents.
Our Managing Director, Julian Foster, said: “We welcome these changes, which provide much needed clarity over the protection of older deposits.
“It brings an end to confusion over the management of deposits taken before the legislation came into force that have been retained by landlords past their original tenancy period.
“We’ll now help landlords and agents act in time to protect older deposits.”
There are further changes within the Deregulation Act 2015 that may affect landlords and letting agents. Full details of the Act can be found here. You should take independent legal advice in order to understand how this and other changes in the Act affect you.
If you’re a landlord or letting agent affected by the new changes and want to find out about your deposit protection options, call us on 0330 303 0030 or visit our website to find out about our schemes. We’re the only deposit protection provider to offer a choice between insured protection and a free custodial scheme.