Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s property litigation specialists deal with all types of property litigation including:
- Rent and service charge recovery (including distraint, court action and insolvency proceedings)
- Disputes over breaches of covenants including forfeiture/relief applications
- Dilapidations claims
- Lease surrender negotiations
- Residential possession actions
- Leasehold enfranchisement
- Disputes with owners of neighbouring properties over boundaries, easements, trespass, adverse possession, nuisance
- Recovery of land from unlawful occupiers/squatters
- Service charge disputes
Clarity for Tenancy Deposits
Last summer the case of Superstrike v Rodrigues cast uncertainty as to landlord’s obligations to protect deposits in respect of Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
In that case, it was decided that where a tenancy commenced pre-2007 whilst there was no mandatory requirement to protect any deposit at the commencement of the tenancy, where the initial fixed period terminated after 2007 and became periodic, the landlord was required to protect the deposit and comply with the requirements of the Housing Act to avoid liability for compensation for failure to protect.
The case cast doubt over the position with regards to post 2007 tenancies generally and whether after a fixed term, the landlord was to re-comply with the Housing Act requirements and re-protect the deposit. Even the deposit schemes themselves were urging landlords to err on the side of caution and re-serve the prescribed information, causing a lot of panic amongst landlords.
Around a week or so ago the Government moved an amendment to the Deregulation Bill which is currently passing through Parliament in an attempt to resolve this uncertainty surrounding tenancy deposits following the Superstrike case. The proposed amendments are as follows:
- Any deposit received before 6 April 2007 and went statutory periodic on or after 6 April 2007 must be protected within 90 days.
- Any deposit received for a fixed term on or after 6 April 2007 which was protected / prescribed information given correctly at the time will be treated as being protected / prescribed information given, when moves to statutory periodic (so no need for new protection / prescribed information).
- Any deposit received for a fixed term or contractual periodic tenancy on or after 6 April 2007 where prescribed information was given correctly at the time, is treated as having being given in respect of any renewal / replacement tenancy.
The amendments (see Clause 20) can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2014-2015/0005/amend/deregulationaddednames.pdf
Of course, until the bill is passed, our advice remains to take a cautious approach and re-protect and re-serve prescribed information after an initial fixed term.