Protect deposit received from tenants in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (‘AST’)

The Tenancy Protection Scheme came into affect on 06 April 2007. This scheme introduced the requirement for landlords to protect deposit received from tenants in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (‘AST’). Initially it only applied to ASTs created on or after 15 October 2015. But from 1 October 2018, the Deregulation Act 2015 made it mandatory for all ASTs deposits, including those entered into before 15 October 2015, to be protected.

The importance of protecting AST deposits is at times overlooked by landlords. As such we often find landlords approaching us for advice in relation to the consequences of failure to comply and their tenant’s right to bring a claim.

This article provides a digested summary of the law in response to the above.

What constitutes to a deposit?

Section 212(2) Housing Act 2004 defines deposits as security held as protection to discharge any liability that may arise in connection to the tenancy and to ensure that the tenant performs their obligations under the agreement.

What are the requirements?

An AST deposit must be protected by one of the following within 30 days of receipt:

Once the deposit has been protected, the landlord must provide the tenant a copy of:

Both of these are provided by the deposit protection providers.

What are the consequences of failing to comply?

Should the tenant bring a claim, the court may order the landlord to repay the deposit in addition to a penalty of one to three times the deposit sum. This is a discretionary penalty and will depend on the facts of the case.

Furthermore, affective from 1 October 2018, in absence of proof of compliance, the Deregulation Act 2015 restricts landlord’s rights of obtaining possession by means of section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice.

Can a tenant bring a claim if the deposit is protected after the 30 day period?

Late protection of the deposit will not restrict the tenant’s right to bring a claim. The same applies to failure to provide the prescribed information.

Why comply after 30 days?

A landlord will not be able to apply for possession under Section 21 Housing Act 1988 unless the deposit has been protected and the prescribed information has been provided to the tenant. As a landlord, it is a necessity to comply with this requirement at all stages and ensure evidence of compliance is obtained from the tenant.

Other benefits:

The DPS provides a cost-effective dispute resolution service for both parties. It provides the landlord an opportunity to make payment without the need for court proceedings within 10 working days of the tenant’s request.

Although this will not prevent the tenant from bringing a claim, should the tenant fail to comply, non-compliance with the dispute resolution service may be taken into consideration by the court when exercising their description to award compensation.

Contributor details:

Please do not hesitate to contact the property litigation team on 02034754321 for any queries that you have in relation to any Landlord and Tenant matters.

This article does not present a detailed statement of the Law and does not constitute as legal advice. This is a summary only and legal advice should always be sought on an individual case basis.

What is an LPA and why is it important to have one?

“What is an LPA and why is it important to have one?

A lasting power of attorney (known as an LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This enables you to have more control over what may happen to you and your affairs should you suffer an accident or illness and can no longer make your own decisions due to a lack of mental capacity.

There are two types of LPA;

It can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions.

It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

You can choose one or both types to suit your personal circumstances. In order to make an LPA, you must be over the age of 18 and have mental capacity at the time. You do not need to live in the UK or be a British citizen to make an LPA.

Here at Aston Brooke, we understand that ‘we’ as a society don’t always like to think of the inevitable, but there are so many reasons why it is important to protect your loved ones and most importantly yourself when you are no longer able to do so.

Unfortunately, as we grow older, or become incapable of making decisions we can become more vulnerable. Recent research by the Financial Conduct Authority has found that a third of people aged 75 or over have been targeted by fraudulent scammers. A further study showed that 22% of people aged 55 or over had also been affected by the same issue.

For this reason alone, it is so important for you to have protection in place for your health, welfare, property, and financial affairs to prevent such things from happening.

You can of course choose to make your own LPA by completing the relevant forms however, this can be a complicated and confusing process. By getting in touch, our highly skilled Solicitors strive to provide you with outstanding service and will assist you along the way to ensure that the process is smooth sailing for you, your family, and your future.”

Why do I need Independent Legal Advice in relation to a conveyancing matter

You may have come across a situation where you have been asked to obtain ‘Independent Legal Advice’ in relation to your conveyancing matter. In fact, in most cases, a lender will advise you to seek Independent Legal Advice regarding your transaction when it becomes necessary to do so. This typically occurs where for example:

If you are buying a property with a mortgage or re-mortgaging in situations as above, it is likely your lender will deem the independent legal advice as mandatory before you can complete.

Independent Legal Advice is usually required from a solicitor who is not directly involved or instructed on your behalf in the transaction at hand. It is important to understand the significance of receiving Independent Legal Advice as this may impact your decision on whether or not to proceed. You should be aware that it is not the role of the solicitor giving the Independent Legal Advice to make a decision for you, but rather to inform you of the potential hazards and risks which may be involved – the ultimate decision rests with the buyer.

The advice should explain to you the general basis of the documentation and the consequences which may arise in the result of a default on your loan/ mortgage. Please note the Solicitor is unable to determine the probability of these consequences arising but should provide you with a brief overview of the factors to consider.

It is important to understand that once you have signed the documentation confirming you have received and understood the advice, this means you are unable to later argue that you did not understand your obligations under the mortgage. Therefore, it is crucial that if anything is unclear, you seek clarification from your Solicitor before signing.

For more information or to seek a fee quote in relation to your Independent Legal Advice matter, you can contact Aston Brooke Solicitors on 0203 475 4321 or email info@astonbrooke.co.uk

NEW graduate route visa for international students residing in the UK

The Home Office has announced a new graduate route for all current international students residing in the UK. Students on this route will be able to work, or look for work following their studies for a maximum period of 2 years. This is increased to a period of 3 years for
students graduating with a PHD.

Applications can start from the 1st July 2021.

Who can apply?

The new route is available to international students who currently reside in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, on the successful completion of their course. Dependants of a Student, who already have permission to stay, can also apply to extend their permission as a dependant on this route.

How will it work?

This is an unsponsored route, meaning applicants will not need to secure a job offer to apply. There are no minimum salary requirements and there is no cap on numbers. Applicants on this route can work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their careers.

For students who began their course in Autumn 2020 they must have entered the UK on or before 21 June 2021 in order to be eligible.
For students who began their course in January or February 2021 they will need to be in the UK by the 27 September 2021.

Requirements

Applicants must be in the UK and have, or have last had permission to remain as a student. If an applicant has, in the last previous 12 months to the application, been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship covering fees and living costs they must provide written consent
from relevant body.

The applicant must successfully complete their course to be eligible. Meaning they must be awarded a UK bachelor’s degree, masters, doctorates or successfully completed another relevant qualification equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.

The applicant must have been in the UK studying for the minimum period of their course, or for at least 12 months if the course duration was longer. Where the course was delayed due to COVID 19, distant learning taking place between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 will not prevent the application satisfying the period of study requirement if;

Applicants are not eligible if they have previously been granted permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate. Applicants are not eligible if they fall under the grounds for a refusal category or are in breach of immigration laws.