This is the second part of a series of posts looking at some of the housing related changes being brought in by the Deregulation Act 2015.
Part 2. Periodic Tenancies and Prescribed Information
Last time I looked at the Superstrike case and how this affected landlords who took deposits for tenancies which started before 6 April 2007 but where the subsequent periodic tenancy started after that date.
However the Superstrike decision had a far greater effect.
If the Superstrike case held that the regulations took effect when the tenancy changed from a fixed term tenancy to a periodic one – then this would affect ALL tenancies – including those which started after April 2007 and where the deposit has been properly dealt with at the start.
We therefore had the unhappy situation where thousands of landlords, who had acted entirely properly, found themselves to be in breach.
Not for failing to protect the deposit – as the schemes generally provided that the protection would continue from one tenancy to another – but for not re-serving the prescribed information.
So we had the ridiculous situation where landlords were being forced to re-serve identical notices and were being penalised for not having done so – even though they had followed the advice prevalent at the time and their tenants had not been prejudiced in the slightest.
This was massively unfair. However thankfully this is now at an end.
How the Deregulation Act 2015 deals with these issues
The Deregulation Act (which in this respect came into force on 26 March 2015 – the day the Royal Assent was given) now provides that if the deposit was protected and the prescribed information served during the original fixed term, the landlord will be deemed to have complied with these requirements in respect of subsequent fixed term of periodic tenancies, provided:
- The landlord & tenant are the same and
- The premises are the same.
So for example, if tenant A is replaced by Tenant B, you will need to re-protect the deposit and re-serve the prescribed information.
This reform is much needed and all landlords will heave a huge sigh of relief.
Many tenants have been unjustly enriched by bringing claims against their hapless landlords for the penalty or have defeated possession claims when the landlord would otherwise have been (apart from the rule from the Superstrike decision) in the right.
Next time I will be looking at past and ongoing court cases.