In recent times, we have seen tenants not hesitating to pursue landlords for deposit claims, housing disrepair, and counterclaims related to the landlord’s failure to carry out their obligations for property repairs. This blog explores the significance of deposit rules and shares a recent case study that emphasises the potential financial impact when these obligations are not fulfilled.
As many landlords know, when entering into a tenancy agreement they must provide the tenant with deposit-prescribed information as required by the deposit scheme they use, that includes, a scheme leaflet and terms and conditions. This must be provided and the deposit protected within 30 days.
Where a landlord has failed to provide this documentation within the required time and/or has failed to protect the deposit within a scheme the tenant may bring a claim for up to three times the deposit amount plus the return of the deposit.
Our legal partners Woodstock Legal Services recently saw a case in which the landlord didn’t provide the needed paperwork within the 30 day window.
The tenant was represented by a solicitor, and through negotiation they were able to come to an amicable arrangement with the landlord. It included the tenant offering an earlier surrender of the property in exchange for the landlord not pursuing rent until the end of the fixed term. The tenant additionally brought their account up-to-date, and their solicitors costs were covered at a lowered amount by the landlord.
Although this was a good outcome for the landlord, in comparison to what it could have been, it is a great reminder of how small mishaps can have costly consequences.
- Ensure that all paperwork is in order and that you know what is required from you before entering into a tenancy – It is good to have a checklist when taking on new tenants
- Send documentation to tenants in more ways than one – by post, via email, recorded delivery etc to ensure they receive everything they need to
- Hand deliver any necessary documents
- Consider getting a managing agent so nothing is missed
- Mitigate as much as possible – in this case, the landlord tried to serve the necessary documents. Although it was a few days later than it should have been, this does go a long way in mitigating a landlord’s loss should they face such a situation in the future.