Landlords: do you know the requirements for Tenancy Deposit Schemes?

A little-known requirement of private landlords is causing big problems when it comes to relying on a section 21 notice to obtain possession.  The case of Superstrike Ltd v. Rodrigues [2013] EWCA Civ 669 (and subsequent cases in the county court) clarified that landlords must register a tenant’s deposit every time a fresh tenancy agreement is signed and/or whenever the tenancy term comes to an end and continues on a statutory periodic basis.  This is because the Court of Appeal considered that a landlord “receives” a deposit whenever a new tenancy starts (even if it is simply a natural run-on from a fixed-term tenancy, and the deposit simply stays in the Scheme).  This means that, under section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, prescribed information must again be served on the tenant. If it is not, a court cannot make an order for possession based on a section 21 notice (section 215).

The Government is currently considering an amendment to the Housing Act 2004 which will remove the requirement to comply with the initial requirements of the deposit scheme and re-serve the Prescribed Information (by deeming it to have been complied with where the tenancy simply continues on a periodic basis). However the Bill has not yet been passed and therefore landlords must still comply with the requirements.