Do you know about the implications of a large test case that has serious implications about how security deposits are handled, more to the point, does your letting agent?
A ruling in the Court of Appeal has potentially far reaching consequences for the way security deposits are handled. Since April 2007 security deposits,or bonds, have been required to be held in a custodial or insurance backed scheme managed by an approved provider. However, simply depositing the bond into a scheme does not satisfy all the requirements of the Housing Act 2004. There are still steps to be taken to ensure that your deposit is secured within the parameters of the law and failure to do so can have severe financial penalties. The danger is even greater when your tenants fixed term has expired and especially where your Agent, as a matter of practice, renews tenancies on a six monthly basis.
How severe? between 1 and 3 times the deposit amount plus the return of the initial deposit!
The problems don’t end there. Should the correct steps not have been taken any section 21 notice served may be invalid and there are many advisory services happily waiting to inform your tenants of such including Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, even our own County Council are actively informing tenants that such notices are invalid without these measures, prolonging the process of gaining back possession of your property and virtually spelling out to your tenants how they may claim financial gain for your agents lack of action!
Please do not think that by using an agent you are protected. The buck stops with the Landlord, you may be entitled to take action yourself against the agent that does not have the professional competence or knowledge to adequately protect you but that is an action you will be taking yourself, at your expense and after you’ve already faced financial penalties for their actions.
If you would like to discuss your letting needs with qualified and regulated professionals who understands that letting a property extends far beyond advertising and finding tenants then call us now on 01437 762538