I am getting a lot of questions from people just now, both on my Landlord Law Q&A and also from people who email me from this blog.
So I thought it might be helpful to do a post just answering briefly some of the most common questions.
Q: Do tenancy deposits taken for common law tenancies need to be protected in a scheme?
A: No, it only applies to deposits for assured shorthold tenancies. However watch out for high rent tenancies, many of these will turn into ASTs on 1 October 2010 when the high rent limit for ASTs goes up to £100,000.
Q: What about deposits paid by lodgers?
A: They don’t need to be protected either.
Q: My tenant has only paid half of the deposit, and says he will pay the rest next month. Can I want until it is all paid before protecting it in a scheme?
A: No, you need to protect what you have now, and then arrange to protect the rest when it is paid. In future, its best not to give tenancies to anyone who has not paid the full deposit in advance (and check the money has cleared into your account).
Q: I have moved out and want my deposit back but my landlord is refusing to speak to me. What should I do?
A: Your landlord is probably avoiding you because he hasn’t protected your deposit in a scheme, and is hoping you will just go away. Click here for guidance on what to do.
Q: My letting agent has gone bust and it now looks as if the deposit was not protected. Will it be me who has to pay the money back to the tenant?
A: Yes. Sorry.
Q: I did not realise that I had to protect the deposit so it is unprotected. What should I do?
Q: I didn’t realize that I had to protect the deposit, but I have agreed to offset it against my tenants rent arrears. Is this all right?
A: No. The regulations say that you must protect deposits after you have received the money, so that is what you must do. If you don’t any claim you may make for possession based on section 21 will be rejected.
Q: My tenants left the property in a mess but say that as I did not protect the deposit I cannot make any deductions. What should I do?
A: Refund the money in full and hope they do not sue you for the penalty of 3 times the tenancy deposit sum. Make sure all deposits are protected promptly in future.
Well that’s enough to be going on with. If you have further questions you will find answers on www.landlordlaw.co.uk.
Note – if you have a tenancy deposit dispute the book on >> this page may help you.