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  • Deposit Protection

    Protecting a tenant's deposit correctly

    Welcome to Day 2 of "Tenancy Compliance Week" 2017, powered by Upad Basic, a new service from Upad that assists landlords in being compliant.

    Upad Basic offers landlords advertising on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location for just £45. Enquiries can be managed through an online account and email queries will be answered by Upad’s Customer Care team within 48 hours.

    Upad Basic also includes the Tenancy Compliance Service: landlords upload legally required documents including EPC, Gas Safety Certificate, Deposit Protection Certificate and Prescribed Information to their online account. Finally, Upad provides the Gov.uk How to Rent Guide and serves to tenants in one combined document with proof of service.

    Today, Upad Basic takes a look at arguably one of the most important obligations as a landlord: deposit protection.

    Here’s what you need to do with a tenant’s deposit:

    1. Register the deposit with one of three approved deposit schemes: TDS, DPS or My Deposits (we use TDS). Deposits must be registered within 30 days of receiving the payment, not from the start date of the tenancy.
    2. Give a copy of the deposit certificate to tenants within 30 days. You can serve an electronic copy (i.e. via email) but it would be best to request a read receipt or add into a tenancy agreement that the tenant is happy to receive it electronically.
    3. Serve the Prescribed Information to tenants within 30 days. This gives details of the scheme being used and how the deposit will be released at the end of the tenancy to the tenants.

      And here’s what could happen if you don’t do any (or all!) of the above:
    4. An unprotected deposit is a breach of the law, if a tenant finds out their deposit isn’t protected they can request it be returned- leaving landlords open to no financial protection for unpaid rent/ damages etc.
    5. A tenant can take a landlord (or agent, depending on who is responsible for registering it) to court and the judge can award a penalty (which goes to the tenant) between 1 and 3 times the deposit amount.
    6. The above applies for late protection of a deposit, although a judge may be more lenient when it comes to inexperienced landlords.
    7. A Section 21 eviction notice cannot be served if the deposit isn’t protected. Also note, if the deposit is protected late then it must be returned in full to regain the right to serve a Section 21 notice.

    Catch up:

    Monday - Launch of Upad Basic

    Find out more about Upad Basic 

    SEE ALSO  -          How to protect a deposit correctly

    UP NEXT -              How to protect a deposit professionally

    DON'T MISS -         Setting up a tenancy correctly - legal duties