HMO Key deposits

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Goddess Wombat!
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I have a property that is currently being lived in by 4 seperate people; originally they shared the tenancy, (they all work at the same hospital) but as time has gone on and a couple of the tenants have changed and it has become obvious that I need to change the basis of the tenancy and am currently converting the property to an HMO. A damages deposit has already been paid by the girls employer for the property and has been passed onto the custodial scheme as appropraiate. However, one of the tenants left without giving notice; granted she didn't leave owing any rent, but left none the less.
What I would like to do is charge a 'key deposit' when they move in so that they pay a deposit in exchange for their room keys and return it to them when they leave in exchange for giving me the keys back - this should ensure they don't just leave without giving notice.
The question is, as this is simply for a key deposit which cannot possibly be didputed - do I have to pay the deposit over to the custodial scheme (is it covered by the same rules?) or not???
Actually, as it costs me mothing, paying the deposit over is'nt a problem, but am I within my rights to charge the key deosit in the first place????
Thanks for your help

15/01/2008 00:00

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