Court Imposes Maximum Penalties
The Court of petition has forced the highest fine on a housing proprietor subsequently a dispute with a tenant over prearranged information under the rental deposit regulations.
The deposit had been appropriately protected and practically all of the arranged information had been supplied, and what was absent was described as ‘minor’.
After the case, lawyers said the error could have been put right by giving the occupier a copy of the Scheme’s leaflet – something the resident could have obtained for themselves.
We all know that Landlords (or Landlord Managers) have an obligation to generate a list of the ‘prearranged information’ to all their tenants, covering the standard details regarding the relevant scheme functions. The accurate information required is set out in the Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007.
In the case of Ayannuga v Swindells, the landlord omitted to supplying small pieces of information listed in the prescribed information.
The case arose after the tenant supposedly fell into rental arrears and the landlord sought possession.
The tenant countered by saying that the landlord had not supplied all the prescribed information. The landlord did not dispute this, but argued that the requirement was largely a routine one and that the deposit had been protected as the law required. The landlord also said that the tenant could have found out all the information he needed from the scheme’s administrator. If the Landlord had used the services offered by a Landlord Solutions manager, he may not have given so little information regarding the scheme.
Therefore, at the first hearing, the landlord argued that he had provided the majority of the information and that the only deficiencies associated to the process of the scheme which the tenant could easily have found for himself from the supplier of the scheme. The judge agreed and dismissed the claim brought by the tenant for the return of the deposit. The tenant then appealed.
This week the Court of Appeal reversed the previous judgment and awarded the tenant the highest reimbursement of three times the tenancy deposit.
Luke Maunder, a property professional with law firm Barlow Robbins, said: “This case has significant implications for residential landlords and residential agents.
“It is not rare for small pieces of information to be absent from the prearranged information, mainly as the Act allows it to be produced independently from the Tenancy Agreement, and some necessary items unconsciously seem less significant as the tenant can find it simply elsewhere.
“In the case of Ayannuga v Swindells, the landlord had failed to present details of the procedures to be followed in certain events. Details of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme had been provided, but the omission of the extra information – potentially as simple as including a pamphlet provided by the Scheme – has cost him thousands.
Becoming a Landlord is a very serious business and considering the horrors we have all heard, (and what has happen above) I would suggest using Landlord Services. I understand that having a property fully managed may be a drain to your income, but I would strongly recommend researching at least a part managed service. Only so that you the landlord will be kept informed with the (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) as well as other important information which could include you.
Thank you for reading; I hope you have found this article useful. An as a last note I would implore you to have a look into the Guaranteed Rent Scheme’s being offered nationwide, Also this article is only advising. Please seek professional advice
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