Changes to tenancy deposit protection legislation will come into force on 6 April 2012. The changes are set out in the Localism Act 2011, which amends the Housing Act 2004. The changes mean that:
(a) any person taking a tenancy deposit will have 30 days (not 14) to protect it in an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme and provide prescribed information to tenants and any “relevant person” who paid the deposit on the tenant’s behalf;
(b) tenants and relevant persons can bring proceedings if the 30 day deadline is not met—landlords can no longer save the day if they protect late, but before the case gets to court;
(c) tenants and relevant persons can bring proceedings against deposit-holders for noncompliance, even after the tenancy has come to an end;
(d) Courts have a certain amount of discretion on how much compensation to award a tenant if the deposit is not protected. If the courts make an award, the minimum amount must be at least equal to the amount of the deposit, and the maximum will be three times the deposit. The conduct of the deposit-holder is likely to have an effect on how much judges will award.
The largest of the tenancy deposit protection schemes, The Dispute Service Ltd, has introduced a new arrangement whereby qualifying landlords and agents can choose a payper deposit option as opposed to an annual membership subscription.
If you are looking for a private rental property make sure you use an Accredited Landlord or Letting Agency.
Private Landlords and/or Letting Agents are registered on a Landlords Accreditation Scheme.
Click here for further details of landlords/letting agents in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
Letting Agents should also be affiliated to other schemes eg The Association of Registered Letting Agents (ARLA); or The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Check out individual letting agents websites that they are accredited.