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Guidance on issuing Prescribed Information for AST's

Prescribed Information must be served on the tenant and on any relevant person within the period of 30 days from and including the date the landlord (or someone acting on the landlord's behalf) receives a deposit in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy, irrespective of whether or not the funds have cleared.

A "relevant person" is a person, company or organisation who, in accordance with arrangements made with the tenant, paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant e.g. a local authority, employer, parent or guarantor. Members are advised to establish, when a tenant applies for a tenancy, whether a deposit has been (or will be) paid by someone other than the tenant, because the member will have to serve Prescribed Information on such a person.

The Deregulation Act 2015 has led to some important changes in respect of Prescribed Information and has led to this becoming a less onerous obligation on landlords.

Failure to serve the Prescribed Information within the correct timescale will be a breach of the Housing Act 2004 and could expose the landlord and/or deposit holder to legal action for compensation by the tenant and/or the relevant person.

Once you protect your deposit you will receive an email from TDS containing the prescribed information, deposit certificate, scheme leaflet and suggested clauses for a tenancy agreement. If you are using the RLA's DepositGuard tenancy agreements you do not need to use the suggested clauses as they are already inserted into the tenancy agreement. The Prescribed Information may be attached to the tenancy agreement, or served as a stand-alone document, where the member receives the deposit at the same time as the tenancy agreement is signed.

Both landlord or agent and tenant must sign the last page of the Prescribed Information.

Members are recommended to replicate the Prescribed Information precisely but they may provide it in their own format if they wish as long as it is substantially to the same effect. It is the member's responsibility to comply with the requirements of The Housing Act 2004 and The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 as amended. TDS and the Residential Landlord Association accept no liability to members, landlords, tenants or relevant persons if the member or landlord fails to meet these statutory requirements.

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