There has been much discussion concerning the increase of the £25,000 maximum AST rent threshold due to come into force in October this year.

The principal cause of concern is that the new £100,000 per annum rent threshold will mean that any residential tenancy created after 26 April 2007 with a monthly rent between approximately £2,084 and £8,330 will shortly carry with it an obligation on the landlord to protect a tenant's deposit with one of the statutory Tenancy Deposit Schemes. This will be of particular concern to rural landlords, who may let (or have already let) small numbers of substantial country properties to tenants.

Two practical points arise:

  1. Pre-26 April 2007 tenancies with an annual rent of £25,000-£100,000 per annum

It is generally agreed that any relevant tenancy created since that date will now fall within the ambit of the tenancy deposit legislation. However, guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government (www.communities.gov.uk/ archived/publications/housing/tenancydepositprotection) confirms that any deposit taken before 6 April 2007 is not subject to the TDS legislation. As such, it would be fair to assume that this will leave any deposit (for a tenancy over £25,000 or otherwise) unaffected. This said, if the tenancy has been formally renewed (rather than simply “going periodic”), then such a renewal would trigger an obligation to protect the tenancy deposit in the usual way.

  1. Protecting "one-offs" or small volumes of deposits

When dealing with bespoke tenancy agreements, the custodial scheme (as opposed to the insurance scheme) is substantially more user-friendly in that it does not require the insertion of clauses into a tenancy agreement (in addition to the notice of prescribed information), and sample notices of Prescribed Information are freely available from the website, whereas the necessary information is usually only provided to agent members of the insurance schemes.

And finally...

Giles and Jim were waiting for the family solicitor to read their father’s will, arguing as to who was the favourite son.

Finally they were invited in, and after clocking up a few units telling them about who would get the carriage clock and the leather riding boots, the solicitor came onto who would inherit the farm.

The solicitor put on his gravest expression, looked at the older brother and said: "Giles, the farm is yours." Giles turned to his brother: “There you go,” he said, “I told you you were the favourite!”