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.

  • When a deposit is taken on a new tenancy with an AST tenancy agreement, the deposit should be protected and the prescribed information and deposit protection documents must be served within 30 days of the deposit being paid.
  • If the tenancy rolls over into a fixed term AST or a statutory periodic tenancy there is no need to re-issue the Prescribed Information as long as:

    • The deposit was properly protected and Prescribed Information served at the start of the original tenancy;
    • The property let remains the same;
    • The tenant(s) remain the same;
    • The landlord(s) remain the same;
    • The deposit protection scheme used remains the same.
  • In the event that any of the above conditions do not apply the deposit needs to be protected and the Prescribed Information served within 30 days of the tenancy change.

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.

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. The Prescribed Information includes the scheme leaflet "What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?" This can be downloaded as part of a tenancy agreement for the whole property here or for a room only tenancy here or can be downloaded as a separate document from the RLA website, and it must be given to the tenant and any relevant person as part of the Prescribed Information. The Prescribed Information is incomplete without this leaflet.

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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