Tenancy deposit disputes can arise for a number of reasons, such as the late protection of a tenancy deposit paid in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy, disputed damages among many other reasons. The deposit disputes we deal with vary from both residential and commercial property.

Common deposit matters:

  • Defend or counterclaim a claim made against a landlord or agent under s.214 of the Housing Act 2004
  • Damage disputes (Dilapidations)
  • ADR (alternative dispute resolution)
  • Seeking a court order for tenancy deposit to be released to the landlord or agent

You can contact our experts for advice on what action and remedies may be available and how we can help.

Tenancy deposit paid in relation to an assured shorthold tenancy must be protected within 30 days of such monies being paid, the prescribed information relating to the tenancy deposit must also be served upon the tenants and relevant person. The relevant a person is someone who may have paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant.

Where the tenancy deposit was not protected within the required time limit, the tenant is entitled to make a claim against the landlord or agent to claim from 1-3 times the value of their tenancy deposit in addition to the return of their deposit or for a judgement ordering the landlord or agent to protect the tenancy deposit.

Where the tenancy deposit scheme requirements of not been met, the landlord is prevented from serving a section 21 notice. Landlord Advice UK have successfully argued time and time again that even where the tenancy deposit is protected late, so long as the tenancy deposit is protected and prescribed information served upon the tenant (whether in time or not) before the section 21 notice is served, the landlord can serve a valid section 21 notice.

However, the court of appeal have since ruled that if the tenancy deposit scheme requirements have not been complied with the tenancy deposit must be returned to the tenant or relevant person before a section 21 notice can be served. This precedent was set by the case:

Following this judgement, tenant advice services commonly advise tenants not to accept their tenancy deposit to prevent or delay eviction, this has become a problem for a number of landlords.

In the case Yeomans v Newell in the County Court at Canterbury on 25 May 2016 the court ruled that where a cheque for the return of the tenancy deposit is posted to the tenant, from the date the cheque is received by the tenant the deposit is available to the tenant and considered as returned in full from that date whether or not the cheque is cashed (possibly from the precedents set in the case Coltrane v Day [2003] EWCA Civ342).

What this means is that once the tenant has received the cheque, a section 21 notice can be served even if the cheque has not been cashed.

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