The Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015, and sparks important changes to deposit protection legislation. Here we provide a summary of the changes and what they mean for you.
The Deregulation Act 2015 now clarifies the issues created by two recent court cases of Superstrike vs Rodrigues and Charolambous vs Ng.
Implications for deposits taken before 6th April 2007
If you took a deposit on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) before 6th April 2007 and you continue to hold that deposit against a statutory periodic tenancy which also started before April 2007, you do NOT need to protect the deposit. However, if you wish to gain possession of the property using notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, the deposit must be protected and the Prescribed Information issued to the tenant prior to you serving the Section 21 notice. You will not face any financial penalties for non-protection of the deposit.
If you took a deposit on an assured shorthold tenancy before 6th April 2007 and you continue to hold that deposit against a statutory periodic tenancy which began after April 2007, if you have not already done so you must protect the deposit with an authorised scheme by whichever is the earlier of either:
- the 23rd June 2015, or;
- before a court decides on proceedings under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (possession) or;
- before a court decides on proceedings under Section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 (failure to protect a deposit)
NOTE: If the tenancy no longer exists or the deposit is no longer held by you, and you did not protect the deposit or issue the Prescribed Information to the tenant, the deposit protection requirements are deemed to have been complied with.
Implications for deposits taken since 6th April 2007
If you took a deposit on an assured shorthold tenancy after 6th April 2007 and correctly protected and served the Prescribed Information to the tenant, you do not need to reissue the Prescribed Information to the tenant on future renewals of the AST or where the AST rolls into a statutory periodic tenancy so long as the tenancy details have not changed (i.e. landlord, tenant and property information) and the deposit remains in the same tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Agent details on the Prescribed Information
The Deregulation Act also clarifies that where an agent has protected a deposit on behalf of a landlord, the agent’s contact details can be provided within the Prescribed Information.
The law is relevant to any deposit currently held on an assured shorthold tenancy. It assists landlords who did not re-protect deposits or re-serve Prescribed Information when a tenancy was renewed or when a statutory periodic tenancy arose. Tenants must still be given revised Prescribed Information about their deposit if there is a change in tenant(s), landlord(s), premises or the deposit protection scheme.
If as a result of the Deregulation Act a tenant loses a claim relating to deposit protection or loses their challenge to a section 21 notice, the court will not order the tenant to pay the landlord’s costs - as long as the tenant started their court case before 26th March 2015.