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Is the landlord liable for non deposit protection after its been returned?

A blog clinic question on tenancy deposits from Katrina

piggy-deposit-images-of-moneyWe vacated a rental property on 26th May 2011 following an 8 month tenancy period (Assured Shorthold). At the end of the tenancy we wished to enter into a dispute with the landlord over money he wished to retain from our deposit and wanted a 3rd party to arbitrate as we had not come to an agreement between ourselves.

The deposit had originally been protected with My Deposits but had been removed from their scheme on 25th February 2011, meaning their responsibility to us ended on May 25th 2011 – the day before our tenancy ended and several weeks before this issue came up. It turns out the deposit had not been reprotected with anyone else. This left us with no arbitration service.

Since we found this out the landlord/agent have now agreed to drop the dispute and refund the whole deposit but we are still unhappy with the fact our deposit was unprotected when we needed help and advice. Does anyone know the legal position on this? Is the landlord liable for not having our deposit protected up until the end of the tenancy?

Any help/advice would be much appreciated!

Katrina, the tenancy deposit legislation was intended to give you a claim against the landlord if he had failed to protect.  However in a recent case, the Court of Appeal have decided that the wording of the legislation (which is very confused) actually does not allow a tenant to claim this penalty after they have left the property.  I wrote a blog post about this >>here.

So as you have had your deposit money returned to you, there is nothing more you can do about it.

Picture from images of money

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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4 Responses to Is the landlord liable for non deposit protection after its been returned?

  1. As you have your deposit back, you haven’t suffered at all. It would be difficult to morally justify a claim against your landlord.

  2. “It turns out the deposit had not been reprotected with anyone else. This left us with no arbitration service.”

    Katrina mistakenly believes that the adjudication service provided by the schemes (ADR) is a ‘right’ which comes with deposit protection. It isn’t. It’s an alternative to the county court and it’s optional; the tenant or landlord may opt out if they wish. So, even if the deposit had been protected, the dispute could have ended up in the county court. Either way, Katrina would have had the dispute settled by a third party (as she desired).

    Her complaint that she is “still unhappy with the fact our deposit was unprotected when we needed help and advice” has no basis. Deposit schemes don’t offer help or advice in terms of the legal position, nor do the courts, but both will advise on claim procedure.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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