Sign up for my Weekly Tips on a Tuesday (and get a free guide)>> Click here

Tenancy deposits – two recent cases

housesI have been alered to a number of new cases through my subscription to the Destin case law service (private sector tenancies).

Here are two on tenancy deposits, which were also reported on Nearly Legal.  Which go to show that in some circumstances the tenancy deposit penalties are not dead.

Suurpere v. Nice – High Court of Justice – 27 July 2011

Ms Suurpere was granted an AST by Mr and Mrs Nice and paid a deposit of £500. However the landlords protected the deposit late and failed to serve any notice with prescribed information at all.

The tenant claimed for the penalty of three times the deposit sum as a counter claim to a claim for possession.

At first instance the claim was dismissed.  However, Ms Suurpere was successful in appealing the case to the High Court, who made the award. The case of Tiensia did not apply as the prescribed information had still not been provided at the date of the court hearing, and the later case of Gladehurst did not apply either as the tenancy had not ended.

Owolabi v Bello – Court of Appeal – 29 June 2011

We don’t have a full report for this case which is a shame as it sounds rather entertaining.

It involves a claim for possession and a counterclaim for damages for unlawful eviction. The landlord’s behaviour must have been pretty bad as the Judge awarded the defendant £13,000 damages!

Interestingly the Judge also made an award in respect of the deposit and ordered that the deposit be repaid together with the penalty payment of three times the deposit sum.

The landlord tried to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal but they refused to accept the case, as her appeal apparently consisted of attackng the Judges’ findings of fact. Any appeals to the Court of Appeal can only be based on an mistake in law, not a mistake in fact.

So despite Tiensia and Gladehurst, the courts will still in suitable cases make awards in respect of the tenancy deposit penalty.

If anyone knows anything more about the facts of the Owolabi case, please leave a comment. It would be interesting to know more about it.

I’ll try to report on some of the other new cases next week.

Photo from Images of Money

(See also the comments area below and >> click here to read our terms of use and comments policy)

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

Landlord LawLandlord Law exists to give help & support to landlords

To find out more and the Seven Free Services you can use on Landlord Law RIGHT NOW!

>> Click Here

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.



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.

Legal Services

Legal services are provided via Tessa's online service Landlord Law. Some advice services are provided by Tessa, other legal services are provided by specialist housing firm Anthony Gold.


The purpose of this blog is to provide information, comment and discussion. Although Tessa, or guest bloggers, may from time to time, give helpful comments to readers' questions, these can only be based on the information given by the reader in his or her comment, which may not contain all material facts. Any comments or suggestions provided by Tessa or any guest bloggers should not therefore be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any actual legal issue or dispute.

Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a lawyer-client relationship (apart from the Fast Track block clinic service - so far as the questioners only are concerned).

Guest bloggers

Please note that any opinion expressed by a guest blogger is his or hers alone, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tessa Shepperson, or the other writers on this blog.

Other websites from Tessa

Lodger Landlord | Google+ | Your Law Store | How to Evict Your Tenant website | the Which Tenancy Agreement Guide | Landlords Tips | Tenants Tips | Landlord Law Store