By law, landlords and agents (in England and Wales) who take a deposit from tenants under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) must protect that deposit using a government–authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Following research into the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme available, Winnie Tree Properties have opted to use the My|Despoits scheme. My|Deposits is an insurance-based scheme which allows your agent to protect your deposit whilst continuing to hold the money for the duration of the tenancy agreement.
DO YOU TAKE A DEPOSIT FROM YOUR TENANTS? – YES!
Then you must protect that deposit with a government-authorised scheme. Winnie Tree protect your deposits with My|Deposits.
Do you use Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements (ASTs) for your tenants?
Do you take a deposit from your tenants?
Did the Tenancy Agreement start on or after 6th April 2007?
Is the property in England or Wales?
If you answer YES to all of these questions, your tenant’s deposit must be protected by a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme, such as My|Deposits.
The law applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) created on or after 6th April 2007 in England and Wales (currently, there is no requirement to protect deposits for tenancies in Scotland).
If the tenancy started on or after 6th April 2007, the tenant’s deposit must be protected in one of the government-authorised schemes.
If a deposit is not protected, the landlord will be breaking the law. She/He will be unable to regain possession of the property using notice-only grounds for possession under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
The tenant can apply for a court order requiring the deposit to be protected, or for the prescribed information to be given to them. If the court finds that the landlord has failed to comply with these requirements, or that the deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, the court must either:
- Order the landlord to repay the deposit within 14 days of the issuing of the court order, or
- Order the landlord to pay the deposit into the designated account held by the custodial scheme administrator
The court must also order the landlord to pay to the tenant (or person who paid the deposit on his/her behalf) an amount equivalent to three times the deposit amount within 14 days of the making of the order.