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  • Deposit Protection

    About tenancy deposit penalties ...

    greg6

    Im curious. Ive heard of landlords getting fined 1 x deposit for not protecting it,

    sometimes 2 x deposit, and very VERY rarely, 3 x time deposit fined.

    So im curious. Under what circumstances do judges decide whether the fine should be 1,2 or 3 times the deposit?

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    The legislation was changed to give judges discretion over the level of penalty awarded. An 'innocent' breach of the legislation is likely to attract a lower penalty and vice versa for a more flagrant breach. Court judgements on the point have shown that judges will take into consideration factors such as:

    • the reason why a landlord failed to comply with the deposit protection requirements (for example, did the landlord know of the requirements and ignored them?)
    • how many properties a landlord lets out (are they an experienced landlord?)
    • whether they were employing a professional letting agent who let them down
    • whether the landlord protected a deposit (even if late) once they became aware of their error

    In other words, culpability - the degree of  a landlord's blameworthiness - is an important factor for the judge to consider. Experienced landlords, and professional letting agents, are likely to see a judge being less generous with their discretion.

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