A Dorset landlord is counting the costs of his futility and refusal to play by the rules.
The Landlord had originally protected a deposit given to him by a tenant through MyDeposits; however the Landlord did not renew his membership the following year and despite MyDeposits writing to him and advising of the consequences, the landlord neither renewed nor joined another scheme.
Failure to protect a deposit within 30 days of receiving it will result in a ‘Section 21 Notice to Quit’ not being recognised in a Court of Law and the tenant being entitled to up to three times the original amount paid as a deposit.
When the tenants vacated the property and requested their deposit back, the Landlord refused, leaving the tenant with no option other than to take the Landlord to court. Although the landlord cited dilapidations’ in the property, he was ill equipped with a hand written Inventory and photographs that were undated.
The court sided with the tenant and awarded £350 costs, the original deposit of £700 and three times the deposit of £2100, bringing the total to £3,150. The courts are coming down heavy on Landlords not protecting deposits. The ruling to protect deposits originally came in to force in April 2007, when all deposits had to be protected within 14 days, however since April 2012 an amendment in the Localism Bill changed this to 30 days with no exceptions.
The legislations are changing all the time and it is becoming more vital for a landlord to belong to a Landlord Scheme to keep up to date with news or a good reputable Letting Agent.