Written by Susan Haggard, Henry Evans
Since 6 April 2007 it has been compulsory for a landlord to protect rent deposits paid by tenants when assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) are created.
New legislation extends that obligation to a deposit received before 6 April 2007 if the fixed term of the AST has come to an end and the AST is now a periodic AST.
The requirement is for such deposits to be protected through a government-authorised protection scheme and prescribed information must be served on the tenant.
Failure to comply means that the landlord may be liable for penalties and may be prevented from recovering possession of its property from the tenant.
All landlords would be well advised to check all of their tenancies to ascertain whether the changes apply to them.
If landlords are affected they must serve the prescribed information and protect the deposits before the statutory deadline of 23 June 2015.
Landlords should make the most of the time left before the deadline to make sure that their deposits are protected and prescribed information sent out; doing so may save them from considerable problems in the future.
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