Residential Tenants could claim up to 3 times the cash value of their deposits thanks to a little-known legal clause in the Housing Act 2004
Under the Housing Act 2004 landlords are legally required to place assured short-hold tenancy deposits in a Government-approved scheme; if they fail to do this they could be liable to pay compensation to the Tenant for the Landlords failure to protect the deposit
Hundreds of thousands of Tenants are let down by their Landlords who fail to comply with the law on protecting the Tenants deposits and this gives Tenants the right to make a claim against the Landlord for up to three times the value of their deposit
There are three government approved schemes for Tenants in England and Wales. Any tenant who discovers that their deposit has not been protected can raise the issue at court by making a claim.
The court is legally obliged to penalise the landlord and force them to pay between one and three times the value of the deposit to the tenant. There is no discretion.
There are circa five million households renting in the UK and because of the substantial numbers of rogue or inexperienced landlords operating this means that hundreds of thousands of tenants are likely to have a claim.
If the landlord has failed to register the deposit with any of the three schemes within 30 days of receiving the deposit money from the Tenant then the tenant can apply to county court to make a claim.
Is my deposit protected?
If your deposit is protected it will be with one of the services noted below, so always check.
For England and Wales:
- Deposit Protection Service
- MyDeposits – including deposits that were held by Capita
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Letting Protection Service Scotland
- Safe Deposits Scotland
- my|deposits Scotland
For Northern Ireland:
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme Northern Ireland
- My Deposits Northern Ireland
- Letting Protection Service NI
If you can establish that your Landlord has failed to register the deposit within 30 days with one of the three schemes there really is no defence for the Landlord so it’s not a question of whether the Tenant will win the case, but how much they will be awarded ( subject to any rent arrears or disrepair costs)
The court’s only legal decision is whether to award the return of the deposit plus one month’s worth of deposit money or the return of the deposit and anything up to three times that figure to the tenant.
When a Tenant provides a Landlord with a deposit that Landlord has to provide the Tenant in writing with information about where the deposit is protected and details of the scheme and how the deposit will be returned
Once a court orders against the Landlord he must register the deposit with one of the schemes and pay the fine to the tenant in full within 14 days.
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our category.
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