Landlord & Tenant: Eviction and Deposits

A Section 21 Notice (and consequently, the Eviction) are Suspended Until Both the Deposit is Protected and the Prescribed Information Provided to the Tenant.

It has been mandatory for the landlord to protect the tenant’s deposit with one of three designated organisations  and provide “Prescribed Information”  to the tenant about how this has been done,  since 06.04.12.  If  the necessary steps are not completed, the court must order the return of the deposit together with a payment (under the old legislation) equivalent to 3 times the deposit.  The notice and subsequently, the tenant’s eviction cannot go ahead until the issues are dealt with.

The legislation was not well drafted and ran into problems with the courts.  Principally, landlords became able to circumvent the penalties and proceed with evicting the tenant simply by protecting the deposit at any time before the matter came to court.  Some amendments were made which came into force on 06.04.12.

It is now mandatory for the landlord to protect the tenants deposit and provide the prescribed information within 30 days of receiving the deposit.  The tenant is now able to make a claim under the legislation, for the return of the deposit and the penalty  of between 1 and 3 times the deposit, before or after the tenancy has ended.  A section 21 notice (and therefore any eviction) is suspended until the landlord returns the deposit, either in full or with deductions that have been agreed with the tenant.

A question came before the Court of Appeal recently.  What if the deposit has been properly protected by the landlord but the prescribed information not provided to the tenant?  The case was Ayannuga v Swindells  (2012) CA (Civ) 6  November 2012.  The landlord wanted to evict the tenant and brought a claim for possession,  the tenant entered a defence and counter claim based on the landlord’s failure to provide the prescribed information.  It was common ground that the deposit had actually been protected and that the Prescribed Information requirements had not been complied with.

Protection Without Information is Not Enough

The landlord argued that it was an inconsequential technicality not to fully provide the tenant with prescribed information and that the information was freely available from the scheme with which the deposit had been protected, and on the internet;  a minor technical oversight should not matter.  The lower court agreed with the landlord.  However, the Court of Appeal found that the information was of real importance as it told tenants how to dispute deductions without recourse to the courts.  The Prescribed Information must be supplied.  The landlord had to return the deposit and pay the tenant 3 times the deposit in addition.  Furthermore, the landlord had endured considerable delays in his efforts to evict the tenant.

It is fairly onerous to comply with the Prescribed Information requirements, however, it is hugely more onerous and potentially very expensive to have to deal with a defence and counter claim when trying to get possession of your property or even a claim for the deposit and penalty up to six years after the end of the tenancy.

 

This blog is for written for general interest only. The content of this blog is not legal advice and no lawyer-client relationship is created between any persons whatsoever by the use of this blog or its contents. Please do not rely in any way on the contents of this blog. You should consult your own lawyer for legal advice.

 

Landlord and Tenant Evictions

Mortgage and Landlord and Tenant Evictions

When the Mortgagor or Tenant Pays the Mortgagee or Landlord all  the Arrears During the Eviction Process

 

When arrears are paid to the mortgagee or landlord by the mortgagor or tenant to avoid an eviction before a possession order is made but after proceedings are issued, the lender or landlord will commonly ask for the matter to be adjourned generally.  This means that should arrears accrue again, the landlord or lender can bring  the possession claim back to court without the expense involved in re-issuing the claim.  When a matter is adjourned generally it is common for the judge to order that if there is no further application the possession claim be struck out after a certain date.

The Problem for Lenders and Landlords

 

The strike out date is usually 12 months ahead but a shorter period is not unusual.  If arrears return and the lender or landlord seeks a borrower or tenant eviction and an order is sought after the strike out date, the lender or landlord has to start the claim from scratch.  This is a waste of resources.

Strike out dates are justified on the basis that adjourned claims clog up the court’s resources.

When seeking the eviction of a borrower or tenant it is preferable for lenders or landlords not to have strike out dates imposed for the reasons already given.  Submissions should therefore be made in an effort to avoid them.

Some Help for Lenders or Landlords Seeking the Eviction of Problem Borrowers and Tenants

 

Anecdotally, it appears that certain courts in the North of England have ceased to impose strike out dates as judges have found that the court files are kept whether there is a strike out date or not.  This means that there is nothing to be gained by using a strike out date and resources are wasted for no purpose when claims have to be issued anew.

It is suggested that the practice of the northern courts be brought to the attention of local judges and that advocates remind the court who ultimately pays for starting fresh claims.

 

Welcome to the New interactive blog from SJV Solicitors.co.uk

This blog will contain lots of information about the Landlord legal services, Letting Agents legal services and Tenant legal services on offer from SJV Solicitors as well as useful information and news about Landlord Law including Property Law and Tenant Law including Tenant Eviction as well as other things of interest to Landlords, Tenants and those dealing with the law around evictions, rent arears, disputes and disrepair.

This blog will be providing regular posts and news on Landlord and Tenant legal and law issues so please follow the blog or keep coming back and hopefully you will find something of use or of interest to you.

If you want to see more about the Legal Services we can provide to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations please see our main website: http://www.sjvsolicitors.co.uk/landlord_services.html

More about SJV Solicitors – Landlord & Tenant Solicitors in England & Wales

Our principal, Simon Vollans, was formerly a barrister, having been called to the bar in 2001. Since then, Simon has personally assisted clients with more than 3,500 matters. Clients have included individuals, small and large businesses, banks, building societies and insurance companies.”

Simon provides advocacy training and consultancy to other law firms. He has been involved in high profile land disputes and has had considerable media exposure in local and national news, as well as appearances on programmes such as GMTV, Richard and Judy and Neighbours from Hell.

More recently, Simon cross qualified as a solicitor in order to found this firm.

Simon has been chair of a Housing Association and currently chairs a legal action group.

Areas covered by our Landlord & Tenant Solicitors in England & Wales

Wales

We can provide Landlord & Tenant Solicitor services, including Tenant Eviction, Rent Arrears Recovery and Debt Collection to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in all of Wales including, South Wales, South West Wales, South East Wales, Mid Wales and North Wales.  This includes Landlord & Tenant Solicitor services, including Tenant Eviction, Rent Arrears Recovery and Debt Collection to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in Carmarthen, Llanelli, Swansea, Neath, Portalbot, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, RCT, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool, Chepstow, Monmouth, Abergavenny, Mertrhyr, Brecon, Powys, Wrexham, Bangor, Rhyl etc.

England

We can provide Landlord & Tenant Solicitor services, including Tenant Eviction, Rent Arrears Recovery and Debt Collection to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in all of England including, South West England, South East England, West Midlands, East Midlands, North West England and North East England including Landlord & Tenant Solicitor services, including Tenant Eviction, Rent Arrears Recovery and Debt Collection to Landlords, Letting Agents and Housing Associations in Bristol, Gloucester, Reading, London, Brighton, Southampton, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Newcastle etc.