Localism act 2011 comes into force on the 6th April 2012
From April this year all tenants deposit MUST be registered within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, increase from the previous amount of time of 14 days. However, now failure to do so will result in the inability to utilise the section 21 notice to gain possession, which means a tenant could stay in your property indefinately.
This is definitely a route that any agent (working on behalf of a landlord) or landlord would want to go down, so we need to be EXTRA vigilant to ensure ALL deposits are registered in the appropriate timescale.
If the Deposit is not registered the Courts can award up to 3 times the deposit to the tenant as a penalty .
If the deposit is returned to the tenant however, the a section 21 can be used to gain possession. The rules will also allow them to offset the deposit money against any rent arrears (with the agreement of the tenant), and to use s21 after a tenants claim under s214 has been finalised.
The new act also states that the person who has provided the deposit (tenant or otherwise), must be given the prescribed documentation in the form of a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate within 30 days of paying the deposit.
A deposit has to be registered 30 days from “Receiving it” so ensure you are clear as to what money you are receiving and when and what it is for.
Ensure that as Landlords and Agents you check your procedres to ensure that you have all you need in place to ensure you do not miss this very important cut off date
if you have passed on your management to a letting agent, ask them for a copy of the registration certificate to ensure that it is registered, as it is not a defence that your agent did not register it for you.
More information below:
Sally Lawson is a Leading authority on Residential Lettings and Management in th UK, Sally has ran Lettings Branches since 1990, and let over 5000 properties during that time. She has also worked as a consultant and trainer to Letting agents nationwide. Sally is actively involved with ARLA (the association of residential letting agents) as a regional representative and Media Spokesperson for the group, and runs the rapidly expanding nationwide Concentric Lettings operation and Franchised network. www.SallyLawson.co.uk