From 23rd June, landlords could be facing a hefty fine if they fail to register their tenant’s deposits.
The Government's 90 day amnesty gives landlords wiggle room to register deposits before the 23rd June. Any landlord who fails to do this could see a potential fine of a whopping £3,600. That’s around three times the average tenant deposit of £1,200.
The law to protect deposits was originally enforced in 2007, as the buy to let market peaked in the UK. Landlords who signed tenants up on a short hold tenancy agreement (otherwise known as an AST) were all required to protect deposits in a Government approved scheme. This was done to protect both landlords and tenants in the event of any disputes which may arise.
Considering the scheme was introduced back in 2007, it’s believed that there are still around 1.5 million private landlords not playing by the rules, or who may be completely unaware of their requirement to comply - even for those who have tenants who moved in prior to 2007 before the law was enforced.
By not registering deposits, landlords could find themselves powerless if there are any disputes with their tenants, as they will have failed their legal obligations. They may also struggle to regain possession of their property. Back in 2013, the court ruled in favour of a tenant whose landlord had failed to protect his deposit. This resulted in the tenant being informed that he couldn’t be told to leave the property as the landlord had failed to comply. True story.
Remember deposit protection is to cover your back as a landlord, just as much as it protects the tenant. For landlords who use a letting agent to manage their property, chances are they’ll sort it all on your behalf. There are a number of online protection schemes in place from providers offering a reputable service that aims to protect both landlord and tenant, some of which are free to use, so even if you manage properties yourself, there really aren’t any excuses not to have deposits protected!
If Ascend manage your properties, we'll have your deposit in the bag. If you self-manage or have other properties within your portfolio, it’s worth checking that all the boxes are ticked. Call us on 0161 637 8336 and speak to one of our friendly team to find out more.