Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Landlord and Tenant

In the case of Suurpere v Nice a landlord has been ordered to pay a tenant three times the deposit for failing to provide the necessary information required under a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Tenancy Deposit Schemes are required under The Housing Act 2004 to safeguard tenancy deposits.  The landlord must comply with the scheme requirements and provide the tenant with information in the prescribed form.  Failure to do so can result in the return of the deposit, or its payment into an authorised scheme, or as in this case, the landlord may be ordered to pay the tenant three times the deposit.

It was ruled that safeguarding the deposit is as equally important as providing the tenant with the necessary information in the prescribed manner.  It was of no consequence that the deposit had been repaid and that the landlord had supplied some of the information but was unaware of the obligations.

The objective is to protect the deposits and the landlord has until the date of the hearing to comply with these obligations.  In this case the landlord had still not complied by the date of the hearing.

However, if the tenancy has ended, an ex-tenant cannot bring a claim under the penalty rule.  In the Court of Appeal ruling of Gladehurst Properties ltd v Hashemi the judgement sets out that when there isn’t a live tenancy the landlord cannot protect the deposit.  The tenant can therefore no longer make a claim as the tenancy is no longer in effect.

Tenants should therefore make sure their deposits are protected from the outset as they will not be able to make a claim when the tenancy ends.

If you would like advice regarding landlord and tenant matters please contact us.