Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, the leading legal services company helping landlords with problem tenants, comments on planned Government changes to the current deposit protection law.
Mr Shamplina comments “These are very welcome changes to the tenancy deposit legislation allowing landlords and agents to file the deposit within 30 days of receipt, compared to the current 14 days. Still at Landlord Action, we experience many landlords that do not know or understand the deposit scheme when instructing us to carry out an eviction of their bad tenant, but hopefully this will go some way to clarifying this to landlords.
“I am also in favour of the abolition of the mandatory three month penalty to landlords if the deposit is not correctly registered. We have seen a huge rise in the number of tenants making applications to the court in an attempt to gain three times the deposit with one group of ‘scam students’ making numerous applications against unsuspecting landlords who did know about the schemes. Giving power to the courts to hand out discretionary penalties from one to three times the deposit makes the system much fairer.
“Making landlords pay the deposit into the scheme prior to serving a S21 notice and before going to court is also a good thing as this protects both parties. My only criticism is that when the courts do make a possession order they do not always put a clause in to state that the deposit should be released to the landlord, which makes it hard for landlords to retrieve this from the scheme and can leave landlords out of pocket due to arrears and legal fees.”