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Deregulation Act 2015 – tenancy deposits

The Deregulation Act 2015 received royal assent on 26 March 2015. It contains amendments to landlord and tenant legislation that will come into force during 2015. Sections 30 to 32 deal with tenancy deposits and are already in force.

Section 30 amends The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007. It is now explicit that the prescribed information can contain the landlord’s agent’s details and the agent can sign the certificate required by art. 2(1)(g)(vii) of the 2007 Order.

Section 31 amends ss. 214 and 215 of the Housing Act 2004. A tenant can only make a claim under s. 214 (for three times the deposit, etc.) in respect of a deposit paid on or after 6 April 2007. Further, even if a deposit was paid before 6 April 2007 a landlord cannot serve a s. 21 notice unless the deposit has been protected (giving effect to the Court of Appeal decision in Charalambous v Ng [2014] EWCA Civ 1604).

Section 32 is intended to address issues arising from the Court of Appeal’s decision in Superstrike v Rodrigues [2013] EWCA Civ 669. It inserts new ss. 215A, 215B and 215C into the Housing Act 2004.

If a landlord received a deposit in connection with a fixed term tenancy before 6 April 2007 and, on or after that date, a statutory periodic tenancy arose on expiry of the fixed term, the landlord is required to protect the deposit and to serve prescribed information. However, the landlord has until 90 days from 26 March 2015 to do so or, if earlier, until a court finally determines a tenant’s claim under s. 214 of the Housing Act 2004 or a landlord’s claim under s. 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

If a landlord received a deposit on or after 6 April 2007, protected it and served the prescribed information, there is no need to re-protect the deposit or re-serve the prescribed information if the tenancy is renewed or a statutory periodic tenancy arises. This applies so long as the landlord and tenant remain the same and the let premises are the same or substantially the same.

Most of the amendments have retrospective effect, subject to savings as set out therein.

Winston Jacob / 1st May 2015


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