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What is the correct procedure for claims under s214 of the Housing Act 2004?

question markSection 214 of the Housing Act 2004 is the section under which a tenant can claim the penalty of between 2 to 3 times the deposit sum if the landlord has failed to protect the deposit and serve the prescribed information within 30 days.

I have been doing a bit of research on the correct procedure for this (or rather trying to do research) and have come to a full stop.

A year or so ago a note was put up on the old County Court site saying the claims for the penalty under s214  had to be started using the Part 8 procedure.

The other procedures are the standard Part 7 procedure using form N1, and the moneyclaim online procedure.

I can’t seem to find anything in the Civil Procedure now about section 214 save for a note in Part 56 of the Civil Procedure rules.  This says

(1) In this Section of this Part ‘landlord and tenant claim’ means a claim under –  …

f) section 214 of the Housing Act 20046.

(2) A practice direction may set out special provisions with regard to any particular category of landlord and tenant claim.

And thats it.  There is no mention of s214 anywhere else in that section that I can find.  Or in the practice note.

Does this mean that using the Part 7 / form N1 procedure is now acceptable for tenancy deposit claims?  Presumably so.   What are people using?

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5 Responses to What is the correct procedure for claims under s214 of the Housing Act 2004?

  1. CPR rule 56.1(f) defines s214 deposit protection claims as ‘Landlord & Tenant Claims’.

    Practice direction 56.2 (para 2.1) states ‘landlord & tenant claims’ have to be a part 8.

  2. No Tessa, not brought one, like yourself, my work tends to be to the landlord side of things. Have heard anecdotal evidence that HMCTS tend to be lax on the issue – allowing ‘small claims’ N1 claims, but it patently should be N208 and a huge legal bill.

    (thinking in print) I wonder if it would be worth the risk for a landlord to attempt to have a claim dismissed if it was brought through the wrong process?

  3. Given that there is no obvious sign posting anywhere of the need to use a part 8 procedure, I would be surprised if Judges were particularly fierce about it. To litigants in person anyway.

    In fact I am sure I have heard tales of Judges rejecting part 8 claims saying they should be part 7 …

  4. non protection occurs in about 80% of the cases that come to me. I can only presume that landlords who are prepared to harass and illegaly evict, dont give a toss about deposit protection as well as tenant’s rights.

    The problem is so endemic in the homelessness unit where I am based that I produced a tenants recovery kit, including procedures, court forms and sample wordings, all in one bundle that the receptionists can simply give out. What annoys me is that cases come back in and most of the time with the same complaint, the staff in the court listings office rejecting their N208 and insisting the claim needs to be made on an N1.

    It would be easy enough to just fill in the 2 forms but the courts insist on charging them for 2 applications when they suggest it.

    Most of the DJs are know are reasonable types and I dont think they would throw out a claim for being on the wrong form. For instance most application to vary the terms of a possession order should really be on an N245, but I have only ever used an N244 and never had the issue raised.

    Having said that, of course there are those that will and it needs clarifying. A current case I have ended up with the desperate tenants paying for 2 application just to get the case in front of a judge, who promptly announced that he had no knowledge of or experience in deposit protection claims and deferred to another date for a more experienced judge.

    Having guided maybe 30 or 40 cases now I can hold my hand up and say they are a procedural nightmare all around. What is meant to be a simple litigant in person claim is bogged down in the usual confusion and seemingly arcane processes for the tenants and takes months. Landlord quite rightly complain about the length of time it takes to get possession, try claiming back the deposit! Its shameful really but courts really are……(unintended pun coming) a law unto themselves



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

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

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