Ayannuga v Swindells (6 November 2012) (unreported)

Swindells let the property to Mr Ayannuga on an assured shorthold tenancy for a term of 12 months. The tenancy provided for Mr Ayannuga to pay a tenancy deposit, which Swindells paid into an authorised custodial scheme. Swindells brought proceedings for possession on the grounds of rent arrears. Mr Ayannuga counterclaimed on the basis that Swindells had failed to provide the prescribed information in relation to the tenancy deposit scheme as was required by Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 and was therefore not entitled to a possession order. Swindells provided the information during the hearing and the judge dismissed the counterclaim, holding that Swindells had substantially complied with its obligations and the failure to provide the information was a procedural issue only which did not prejudice Mr Ayannuga.

The Court of Appeal overturned the decision. The information relating to the procedural provisions of the tenancy deposit scheme was of real importance to Mr Ayannuga as it set out the means by which he could recover his deposit and resolve disputes in relation to it. In those circumstances the only proper conclusion was that there had not been substantial compliance with the landlord’s statutory obligations. The Court therefore ordered that Swindells was to return the deposit and pay Mr Ayannuga a sum equivalent to three times the deposit in accordance with the 2007 Order.