Deposit or Bond
Within 30 days of receiving a deposit the Landlord or Agent
must lodge the deposit in a scheme or insure it. This does not mean 31 days it means 30 days. Some landlords were holding on to the deposit until just before the tenant took them to Court and then paying it in to the protection fund. That has all been stopped and now 30 days means 30 days.
They must also give the tenant and any other person/entity
who provided the deposit, details about how their deposit
is protected including:
The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme selected.
Provide the prescribed information and schemes' conditions
to the tenant and other person(s) who may have paid the
deposit (parent etc).
Details from the scheme of how to apply for the release of the deposit.
Information explaining the purpose of the deposit and
definition of how such monies would be returned.
What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit.
Penalties for failing to comply
If a Landlord or Agent fails to comply with the deposit legislation
they maybe ordered to pay the Tenant three times the amount
of rent paid over the duration of the tenancy, with further
penalties that may include being unable to serve a
Section 21 Notice, until the deposit has been protected and
the prescribed information has been supplied to the
Tenant and any other relevant person.
Tenancy Deposit Protection is designed to ensure:
Tenants get all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it.
Any disputes between Tenants and Landlords or Agents will be easier to resolve.
Landlords and Letting Agents who do not protect tenancy deposits
may have to pay their Tenant back three times the deposit.
Rent Arrears Letters
It is only once the Tenant has failed to remedy the situation
highlighted in your rent arrears letters that can you issue a
valid legal Section 8 Notice. Should the situation not be remedied
ONLY then can you proceed with court action.
Where a Tenant is in rent arrears you have a legal obligation to
provide them and if applicable guarantors, with a statement of
account. (Section 47 Landlord Tenant Act)
Sending rent arrears letters is a requirement of the civil procedure
55 this is the Judicial system Judges MUST follow when dealing with
In Molyneax-Child-v-Coe 1996 at Guildford County Court, a landlord
who faxed a letter to his tenant at work about rent arrears had to pay
Rent Arrears Letters
First rent payment this must comply with Section 47 of
Landlord Tenant Act
Second letter 3 weeks after first missed payment, a week before
second month due
Third letter 7 days after second missed payment
Issue a Section 8 Notice for rent arrears
Seven days after the Section 8 Notice has been issued you
could send this letter Final demand before you make your
application to the courts
If you apply for possession for rent arrears civil procedure
55 means you must send an up to date rent statement within
seven days - it must be in this layout
Rent Arrears Benefits Tenant
Rent Arrears - Landlord wants Direct Payment from Council
Tenant permission to pay housing direct to the landlord
LHA Direct Payment to Landlord or permission discuss claim with council
Rent Arrears Guarantors New guide
Guarantor Final Warning for Overdue Rent Second Letter
Guarantor Warning Tenant in rent arrears request for Overdue Rent
One would hope that phone calls and sending letters would
solve the problem but....
Benefits Claimant Council Advice
Tenants who are claiming benefits are more likely to be
advised to stay put, for they cannot be evicted until the
Landlord obtains a court order and then appoints a Bailiff.
Nowadays there is a huge amount of resources and services
that are readily available to tenants. Amongst these are Shelter,
Legal Aid, Councils themselves, and Citizens Advice that are
able and willing to assist the tenant’s “plight”. They have staff
who are familiar with Tenant Landlord Law and will happily
inform the tenants of their rights. In some cases, eviction is
further delayed because innocent mistakes the Landlord has
made are exploited for the tenants' benefit. Sometimes Tenants
are incited to make accusations – such as the property is in disrepair,
harassment, non-compliance with deposit protection process etc.
In such circumstance, evictions may become a complicated court
case and eviction can be delayed for months In this section we
include possible steps that you can take to improve your situation
to resolve rent arrears problems and to achieve a successful eviction.
Arrears Letters Protocol
Civil Procedure 55, These are the rules that a Judge must follow in
determining if a tenant should be evicted on the grounds of Rent
arrears. Whilst Ground 8 of the Housing Act is defined as mandatory
in reality, this is not so as the Judge has discretionary powers to
grant a suspended possession order
To strengthen our case we MUST provide the Judge with a
statement of account so they may see firsthand the tenant’s
conduct of repeated arrears and missed payments.
This must be in a predefined layout Print letter
A statement of account MUST be supplied to the tenant within 7 days
of making an application for possession for rent arrears.
Claims which may be started using Possession Claims Online
A 'Section 21 Notice to Quit', so called because it operates under
section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, is the notice a landlord can
give to a tenant to regain possession of a property at the end
of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). The landlord is able to
issue the tenant with a section 21 notice without giving any reason
for ending the tenancy agreement. It cannot be served until after the
tenancy has commenced and it os good practice not to issue it the
day the tenancy is created.
A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the
end of a tenancy but must follow the correct legal procedure,
which includes serving a section 21 notice. The Housing Act
1996 amended the section 21 of the 1988 Act by requiring
this notice to be given in writing.
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is divided into subsections
with different procedures to be followed depending on whether
the Section 21 notice is served before the fixed term has come
to an end or after, when the tenancy has become a periodic tenancy.
Before the section 21 Notice can be issued the Landlord must
ensure that the deposit has been administered. Changes brought
in by the Localism Bill give the landlord 30 days to attend to the
deposit and to issue the presribed information. Unless this is
done a Section 21 Notice cannot be enforced.
Under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the
Housing Act 1996, a landlord has a legal right to get his property
back at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy.
In order to invoke this right, he is required to follow the correct
legal procedure which involves serving a section 21 notice to quit
on the tenant or tenants. A section 21 notice can be issued at
any time during the fixed tenancy or during the periodic tenancy
although different notices will be required depending on whether
the tenant is in a fixed or periodic tenancy.
If a landlord wishes to regain possession before the end of the
agreed term, this may be possible if he can show certain conditions
have been met. In order to do this he must first issue the tenant
with a valid section 8 notice to quit.
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act
1996 requires that the landlord provides tenants of an Assured
Shorthold Tenancy (AST) with a minimum of two months' notice in
writing, stating that possession of the property is sought. The two
months starts when the tenant receives the notice not when the
notice was written/posted. Please contact us should you have any
questions relating to the service of the notice.
A Section 21 notice must be served before possession order will be
issued by a court. Possession under this section of the Housing Act
1988 cannot take place during the fixed term of the tenancy, but the
notice can be served at any time during the fixed term provided the
tenant is given a minimum of two months' notice. The tenant is not
required to give up possession of a property until a minimum of two
months after the Section 21 notice to quit was served. This includes
Section 21 notices served up until the last day of the fixed term.
The provisions in section 21(1)(b) applying to fixed term tenancies state:
"Without prejudice to any right of the landlord under an assured
shorthold tenancy to recover possession of the dwelling-house let
on the tenancy in accordance with Chapter I above, on or after the
coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy which was a
fixed-term tenancy, a court shall make an order for possession of
the dwelling-house if it is satisfied-
a) that the assured shorthold tenancy has come to an end and no
further assured tenancy (whether shorthold or not) is for the time
being in existence, other than a statutory periodic tenancy: and
b) the landlord, or in the case of joint landlords, at least one
of them has given to the tenant not less than two months'
notice stating that he requires possession of the dwelling-house."
A notice can be issued more than two months before the
end of a tenancy but it should not be dated to expire on or
before the last day of the tenancy. For example, if a Section
21 notice was issued four months before the tenancy was
due to end, the notice would have to be dated after the last
day of the fixed term.
If a section 21 notice is issued during the initial fixed term of a
tenancy to regain possession at the end of the fixed term tenancy,
then should the landlord decide to grant another fixed term,
a new section 21 notice would be required to regain possession.
Once the fixed term of the tenancy ends, unless a new fixed
term is agreed upon a tenancy automatically becomes what
is called a statutory periodic tenancy which rolls from week
to week or month to month depending on how often rent is paid.
The procedure for serving notice under section 21 of the
Housing Act 1988 is slightly different in the case of statutory
Section 21(4)(a) of the Housing Act 1988 applies to assured
shorthold tenancies that have become periodic and states:
"Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in
subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for
possession of a dwelling house let on an assured shorthold
tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied-
(a) that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least
one of them has given to the tenant a notice stating that,
after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a
period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after
the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house
is required by virtue of this section; and
(b) that the date specified in the notice under paragraph
(a) above is not earlier than the earliest day on which, ........,
the tenancy could be brought to an end by a notice to quit
given by the landlord on the same date as the notice
under paragraph (a) above "
A Section 21 notice complying with the above section
should only be given to a tenant whose tenancy has
become a periodic tenancy as a result of the fixed term
ending. In these cases, a minimum of two months'
notice is required and the day on which the notice
expires must be the last day of a period of the tenancy.
The period of a tenancy depends on how often the rent is paid.
If rent is paid monthly the period of the tenancy is one month,
if the rent is paid weekly the period of tenancy is one week and
so forth. The periodic tenancy begins immediately after the
fixed term expires, so if the fixed term expires on the 10th
then the period of the tenancy begins on the 11th, so provided
rent was paid monthly the last day of each period of tenancy
would be the 10th of each month. Therefore the Section 21
notice would have to expire on the 10th of a month and be
served a minimum of two months before the tenth of that month.
If the tenant does not leave by the expiry date on the notice
the landlord will need to apply to the court for a possession order.
Provided the correct procedure has been followed by the
landlord issuing the Section 21 notice, the court will have
no choice but to grant the possession order.
The Court system allows two types of claim to enforce a
section 21 notice. These are a standard and an accelerated
process. The accelerated process allows for the claim to
proceed without the need for a court hearing whilst a
standard section 21 claim will require a hearing at the
County Court in front of the District Judge.
After the court has issued the tenant with the notice to leave,
if they have still not left within the required period, then a
landlord can ask county court bailiffs to evict the tenant.
Landlord Assist suggest that you use a firm like ourselves
for the preparation and service of notices. We are very
experienced in this and will therefore ensure that the
documents are correctly drafted, correctly served and
A recent report stated that 71% of section 21
claims were dismissed by the Courts as being defective.
Many people have a view on the return of Deposits and
most are incorrect.
The return of deposits is governed by Chapter 34 of
Housing Act 2004. The law is very precise and the deposit
schemes must comply with the following for that is part
of the tender process when managing the schemes
under the licence they operate.
If you have a deposit as a member you may contact our
helpline otherwise contact the scheme adminstrator for guidance.
The2004 Housing Act definition of return of deposits Chapter 34 being:
669. If at the end of a tenancy both the tenant and the
landlord notify the scheme administrator that they have
agreed that either the whole deposit is to be returned
to one party or part of the deposit returned to
both parties and the scheme administrator is
satisfied that such an agreement has been reached,
the scheme must pay out the deposit monies
due to each party in accordance with the
agreement within 10 days of receiving notification.
670. Where there has been a dispute over a deposit
and either the tenant or landlord notify the scheme
administrator that a court has reached a final decision
on how the deposit is to be returned to the parties,
(and the scheme administrator is satisfied that such
a decision has been reached) the scheme must
pay out the deposit monies due to each party in
accordance with the decision within 10 days
of receiving notification.
671. Under insurance-based schemes, the landlord
retains the deposit and repays it to the tenant
following agreement between them. Where there is
a dispute the landlord must transfer the disputed
amount of the deposit to a designated account.
672. Where a tenant notifies the scheme administrator
that they have requested the landlord pay them all or part
of the deposit and this has not been paid to him within
10 days of this request being made, the scheme administrator
must direct the landlord to pay the outstanding amount
into a designated account within 10 days of being so directed.
673. Where either a court decision is made as to how
much should be returned to either of the parties or the
landlord and tenant has reached a decision (perhaps
through alternative dispute resolution), the scheme
administrator must pay this amount to the relevant party or
parties. This payment should be made within 10 days
of receiving notification that a decision has been made.
674. This payment should be made out of the amount
held by the scheme administrator, which has been
transferred by the landlord as directed. Where the
amount to be paid out is less than the amount held,
the scheme administrator must return the balance
to the landlord. Where the amount to be paid out is
more than the amount held, the scheme administrator
must direct the landlord to pay him the difference within
10 days. However, the scheme administrator must still
make the payment within 10 days of receiving notification
that a decision has been made, to prevent the tenant
from being disadvantaged by the landlord's failure to
transfer the outstanding amount to the scheme administrator.
675. Schemes must ensure that the scheme administrator
establishes and maintains adequate insurance coverage
to allow for the scheme to make such payments where a
landlord fails to reimburse the scheme. A scheme may
require participating landlords to pay contributions towards
this or charge any other administrative fees.
Deposit Information to be supplied to the tenant
The Deposit Schemes clearly state in their T&C that they do
NOT issue all the required Prescribed Information and
reiterate it is the Landlords responsibility to comply see
notes below. All the Tenant has to do to nullify a claim for
possession and seek compensation is claim that they never
received the deposit information (see Question 8 of the
Tenant Defence Form this rebukes Question Section 7
[compliance with Deposit Legislation] court form application
for possession form )
The Landlord or person deemed to be holding the Deposit
must now comply or be fined. Legislation revised 2012
Protect such deposit within 30 days.
Ensure the Tenant and any other person who provided
such deposit is given the following and prescribed information
within 30 days. This should be localised to the Tenancy
Agreement, The deposit Schemes do not offer such
Failure to comply means an application for possession
using the Section 21 Process, will be denied and you
will be ordered to return the Deposit to the Tenant and
pay the Tenant one to three times the deposit amount
Prescribed Information & Tenancy Agreement
The easiest way to avoid a Tenant claiming compensation
because they claim they never received their Deposit information
is by asking them to sign for it when you issue the
Tenancy Agreement - as below **
Included with the Members Tenancy Agreement
Included with Non Members Tenancy Agreement
Included as part of the Tenancy Starter Pack
If not using PIMS Tenancy Agreement - Prescribed Information form
If merging your tenancy agreement in the members' area
the prescribed information is produced along with your
In addition to the Prescribed information the Landlord
or Agent must also supply the following Leaflets for a legal requirement **
Insurance Based Scheme
Leaflet Scheme Rules
A Guide to Deposit Disputes
Deposit Protection Certificate to the Tenant.
The Insurance scheme does not supply any information
to the Tenant. The landlords/Agent responsible for printing
and giving to the Tenant.
DPS post a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate to the Tenant
What the Deposit Schemes say about supplying Prescribed Information
The Landlord MUST issue the prescribed Information otherwise
invalidate their right to claim possession of their property using the Section 21 Notice
Section C Note 2 : The Scheme is NOT responsible for providing
the Prescribed Information to the Tenant. Please see the reverse
side of the DPC included as Appendix 4 to these Scheme
Rules where we explain which areas of the Prescribed Information are
covered by Scheme documentation and, most importantly,
which information the Member must provide to the Tenant.
Clause 2D The DPS cannot provide the Prescribed Information
on behalf of Landlords.
**Obligatory as required by law
The leaflets are to be supplied for a requirement of the prescribed
information legislation that states "instrument prescribes the
information that a Landlord must give to such a Tenant" ;
information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme
administrator to the Landlord which explains the operation
of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and
Schedule 10 to the Act.
Penalties for failing to protect a deposit and issue
At present, where a Landlord (or their Agent) fails to comply with
the Deposit Legislation there are distinct penalties.
This is somebody or a party that pays or contributes to
the deposit that is provided in respect of the property.
Example being A Parent, Council Deposit, a Charity
Such persons MUST be provided with information
pertaining to where the deposit is protected and their
contact details specified on the prescribed information.
The deposit MUST be returned to such persons NOT to the Tenant.
Rent in Advance 1 month only
Whilst definitions contained with the Deposit Legislation
do not give consideration to a Landlords accepting
rent in advance, contained within the legislation are
references to Monies/ Deposits and performance obligations.
Some Courts are now questioning whether the rent in
advance is indeed a performance obligation.
Such as "the rent must always be paid two months in advance
" [this is a performance requirement hence by definition could
be deemed a deposit]. Whilst one could probably successfully
argue it is not a Deposit the fact remains, such argument or scrutiny
may result in a delayed eviction. This is because the Judge requires
time to decide if there was an expectation of performance then such
money would be considered a deposit. In this case, a Judge may
fine the Landlord three times the amount of the deposit for failing
to protect such monies and invalidate any section 21 Notice relied
upon. If the case was for rent arrears, then the tenant may try a
set off claim for compensation. Again, this would result in a
lengthy delay in the eviction process.
As always, where there is any doubt it often favours the Tenant
and serves no value for the Landlord. The surest way of
proceeding is do not draw reference to rent in advance on
any tenancy agreement and simply say Rent is Y. Payable
in advance (which should be no more than the term), so the
rent monthly payable in advance for the months as agreed,
or if weekly should be no more than 4 weeks and the deposit
defined as the amount £X.XXX or nil.
Why issue Prescribed Information / Failed to comply?
The law changed 5th April 2012, where you fail to provide the
required information within 30 days you MUST return the
Deposit and should the matter proceed to court pay the
Tenant a penalty of no more than three times the Deposit
Value. The Tenant is entitled to seek compensation for
up to 6 years after the Tenancy has ended.
The PRESCRIBED INFORMATION ORDER 2007 No. 797
defines exactly the information that the Landlord is required
to supply their Tenant with regards to any monies that have
been given in respect of a deposit.
Many people perceive that the prescribed information is
provided by the Deposit Protection Schemes, this is not
the case. The DPS clearly state in their T&Cs clause 2D
that "The DPS cannot provide the Prescribed Information
on behalf of Landlords"
Mydeposits states mydeposits cannot assist here with
reference to "(vi) the circumstances when all or part of
the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference
to the terms of the tenancy;"
The terms and conditions under which the Deposit will
not be returned are referenced to the Tenancy agreement
in the prescribed information. Defining such terms means
disputes have a better chance of being resolved in the
Provided the Prescribed information is issued within 30 days:
The Tenant cannot block nor the courts deny a Landlords
claim for guaranteed possession of their property.
The Tenant cannot demand the Landlord pay 3 times the
value of the Deposit as tax free compensation. The former
legal defence Draycott v Hannells ceases to apply
If you do not issue the prescribed information, the Tenant
can sue you, you cannot claim possession of your property
and you reduce your chances of making a claim against the
deposit for losses you may suffer.
The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information)
Prescribed information relating to tenancy deposits
2.—(1) The following is prescribed information for the
purposes of section 213(5) of the Housing Act 2004
(“the Act”)— (a)the name, address, telephone number,
e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme
(1) of the authorised tenancy deposit
(2) applying to the deposit;
(b)any information contained in a leaflet supplied by
the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains
the operation of the provisions contained in sections
212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act
(c)the procedures that apply under the scheme by
which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid
or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold
(4) (“the tenancy”);
(d)the procedures that apply under the scheme
where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable
at the end of the tenancy;
(e)the procedures that apply under the scheme where
the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be
paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;
(f)the facilities available under the scheme for enabling
a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without
recourse to litigation; and
(g)the following information in connection with the
tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—
(i)the amount of the deposit paid;
(ii)the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;
(iii)the name, address, telephone number, and any
e-mail address or fax number of the landlord;
(iv)the name, address, telephone number, and any
e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including
such details that should be used by the landlord or
scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting
the tenant at the end of the tenancy;
(v)the name, address, telephone number and any
e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;
(vi)the circumstances when all or part of the deposit
may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the
terms of the tenancy; and
(vii)confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed
by the landlord) that—
(aa)the information he provides under this sub-paragraph
is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and
(bb)he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any
document containing the information provided by the
landlord under this article by way of confirmation that
the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge
(2) For the purposes of paragraph
(1)(d), the reference
to a landlord or a tenant who is not contactable includes
a landlord or tenant whose whereabouts are known, but
who is failing to respond to communications in respect
of the deposit.
(1)For the meaning of “the scheme administrator”
see section 212(3) of the Act.
(2)For the meaning of
“tenancy deposit scheme” see section 212(2) of the Act.
(3)For amendments to Schedule 10 to the Act, see the
Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007 (S.I. No. 2007/796).
(4)By section 212(8) of the Act “shorthold tenancy”
means an assured shorthold tenancy within the meaning
of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Housing Act 1988 (c. 50).
The landlord must ensure that the Prescribed Information
form is correctly completed and served on the tenant(s)
within thirty calendar days of the landlord receiving the
deposit. The tenant(s) must be given an opportunity to
check and sign the Prescribed Information. This is a
requirement of Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation
under the Housing Act 2004.