New Rules mean that landlords must comply with tenancy protection requirements, including the need to give prescribed information. Otherwise, you face financial penalties and the loss of the right to use Section 21. They apply to all new deposits taken on or after the 6th April 2012 but they are also back dated to all existing deposits held on that date which should have been protected (unless the tenancy has already ended no later than 5th April 2012). There is a short period of grace to put matters right in respect of existing deposits where a landlord has failed to comply with the requirements.
LANDLORDS HAVE UNTIL 5th MAY 2012 TO PUT RIGHT ANY EXISTING FAILURES TO COMPLY WITH REQURIEMENTS.
The purpose of this check list is for you to check each deposit you hold to make sure that you are fully compliant. If any answer is NO to a question then you need to take steps to comply (except for Q7 where action is needed if you answer YES).
References to you (the landlord) also include the landlord’s agent if the agent deals with the deposit.
Q1. Have you protected the deposit with one of the three Government approved schemes, i.e. the Custodial Scheme operated by DPS (which involves paying the deposit over to them) or with MyDeposits or TDS (The Dispute Service) where you/your agent can hold the deposit but it has to be registered it with them.
Corrective action - Protect the deposit with one of the three schemes and give the tenant/s the prescribed information – see below.
NB – This is over and above giving the tenant/s the official scheme receipt which you get for the deposit. It means that you have to give the tenant/s a document setting out all of the information mentioned below, including the official scheme tenants leaflet.
Q2. Have you given the tenant/s a notice giving them the prescribed information required by the legislation.
Corrective action - Give the prescribed information and leaflet.
Q3. Have you given each of the following to the tenant/s?.
|2.1||The name and address, telephone number, email address and fax number of the authorised tenancy deposit scheme with whom you have protected the deposit.|
|2.2||The procedures which apply under the scheme dealing with how the deposit is repaid at the end of the tenancy.|
|2.3||The procedures that apply under the scheme if the landlord or the tenant is not contactable once the tenancy has ended.|
|2.4||The procedures that apply under the scheme if there is a dispute over the deposit|
|2.5||Details of the alternative dispute resolution procedures under the scheme.|
Corrective action - give the tenant/s the prescribed information including the above.
Q4. Have you given the tenant/s a copy of the official scheme leaflet which is provided by the scheme you have protected the deposit with?
NB – up until early 2012 if the deposit is protected by being paid over to DPS (the Custodial Scheme) this was a copy of the Scheme’s terms and conditions. They now provide an official tenants leaflet but did not do so before then. The other two schemes have always had a tenants leaflet.
Corrective action - Give the tenant/s a copy of the scheme leaflet.
Q5. As well as complying with Q2 and Q3 above have you given the tenant/s all of the following specific information relating to their tenancy:
|5.1||The amount of the deposit paid.|
|5.2||The address of the tenanted property.|
|5.3||Your name, address, telephone number, any email address you have or fax number which you have.|
|5.4||The name, address, telephone number and any email address or fax number of each of the tenants (this should not just be confined to any lead tenant – it needs to include the names of all of the tenants).|
|5.5||Have you included a contact address for the tenant/s after the tenancy has been ended so that either you or the tenancy deposit scheme itself can contact the tenant.
NB – This is important; it will have to be a forwarding or care of address for use after the tenancy has ended.
|5.6||Details of the circumstances in which all or any part of the deposit can be held back by you (e.g. due to rent arrears, tenancy breach etc). Have you either listed these out in the notice or referred the tenant/s to a clause in the tenancy agreement identifying the situations where the deposit can be held back.|
Corrective action - give the tenant/s the prescribed information and include the above detail in it.
Q6. Has any prescribed information document which you have given to the tenant/s or any third party (who has paid or contributed towards the deposit) included:
|(i)||signed confirmation by you in the form of a certificate that the information you have provided in the prescribed information is “accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief”|
|(ii)||have you signed and dated this|
|(iii)||does it include a certificate by you that you have given each of the tenant/s the opportunity to sign the prescribed information document which you have given them to confirm that the information is accurate to the best of the tenant/s knowledge and belief|
|(iv)||has each tenant signed the document to confirm that it is accurate.
(a) you do not have to give any third party the opportunity to counter-sign the prescribed information; only the tenant/s. Each tenant should be asked to sign
(b) provided you have given each tenant the opportunity to sign it does not matter that they may not have signed
Corrective action - Give the prescribed information with the correct Certificates signed by you. Give them a copy as well as the original. Ask the tenant/s to sign the copy and return it to you. You can do this personally or by letter.
Q7. Has anyone beside the tenant/s paid or contributed towards the deposit.
Corrective action - if the answer is YES go to Q8. If NO go to Q9
Q8. If the answer to the last question is YES then each third party who has paid/contributed towards the tenant’s deposit must also be given a document containing all of the prescribed information (as set out in Q3 and 5 above and also containing the Certificate in Q6) as well as the tenant’s leaflet referred to in Q4 above.
|(1)||You can give the same form with the same information to any third party as you give to the tenant/s.|
|(2)||If all of the deposit has been paid by a third party you still need to give all of the prescribed information to the tenant/s|
|(3)||The third party does not need to countersign the prescribed information|
Corrective action - Give the prescribed information to any third party.
Q9. Have you actually handed over or posted the prescribed information notice signed by you to the tenant/s and to any third party (who has paid or contributed towards the deposit).
Corrective action - Give the prescribed information to each tenant/third party
Q10. Have you handed over a copy of the official scheme receipt to the tenant/s
NB – this is not a requirement as such under the legislation but is a requirement of each scheme rules. In the case of MyDeposits much (but not all) of the prescribed information is provided by them alongside their official receipt.
Corrective action - give a copy of the receipt to the tenant/s
How do you find out more information about the format of the prescribed information – go to the RLA website click on http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/tenancy_deposits/tds-Documentation.shtml This takes you to the prescribed information form for each of the schemes and the current scheme leaflet for each of the schemes