Deregulation Act 2015 part 1: changes to assured shorthold tenancies

Deregulation Act 2015 part 1: changes to assured shorthold tenancies

Sarah Coates-Madden looks at some of the housing-related changes being brought in by the Deregulation Act 2015, which received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015. This week, she discusses the changes already in force in relation to tenancy deposits and what effect they will have on landlords of private residential properties.

Tenancy deposit scheme

The law requires that any deposits taken on assured shorthold tenancies (AST) in England and Wales starting after 6 April 2007 must be protected in a government-authorised deposit protection scheme.

This now also applies on deposits taken on any AST before April 2007 and that have not been protected. The deposit must now be paid into an appropriate scheme and PI served. Otherwise you will not be able to issue a valid Section 21 notice at any point in the future.  

This regulation overturns the Superstrike v Rodrigues [2013] EWCA CIV 669 decision, and landlords now have a period of 90 days from the coming into force of the act on 26th March 2015 to rectify the situation.

What this means & what to do now

There will be a few landlords with pre-April 2007 deposits that now require protecting and have been given three months to do so to avoid any risk.

All landlords should:

  • Check all their tenancies to see when they’ve taken and protected deposits
  • Check they have served the PI.

The deadline is 23rd June 2015.

Use this opportunity to get everything in order and prevent any issues with the protecting of deposits, serving the PI, serving Section 21 notices and avoiding any potential penalties.

If you do this, it will be as if you had always been compliant. If you don't, it will be too late. You will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice unless the deposit is repaid to the tenant, and in certain circumstances, depending upon the applicable dates, you will be liable for penalties for non-protection.

Need advice? We can help you

Please call Sarah Coates-Madden on 01482 325242.

Or email scm@gosschalks.co.uk.

You can find out more about how we can help you here.

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