Landlords 'must protect tenant deposits'

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords who rent out properties have been advised that it is absolutely essential that they not only collect deposits from tenants, but they must also ensure they are adequately protected.

Chris Norris, head of policy at the National Landlords Association (NLA), has told how the government's approved tenancy deposit scheme is a must for all landlords and letting agents. It will ensure they work within the regulations set out in the Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) legislation and help them to avoid penalties.

"Landlords and letting agents play a big role in raising awareness to tenants as they must by law also pass on important information about deposit protection – called the prescribed information – to their tenants once the deposit has been protected," Mr Norris explained.

While the majority of tenants are aware of what should happen to their deposit, the latest research shows some could still be failing to ensure the regulations are implemented. Figures from the NLA reveal 72 per cent of tenants in England and Wales are aware of the TDP.

"Importantly, landlords should be aware that they are ultimately responsible for the return of the deposit to the tenant," Mr Norris added.

It is also worth remembering that those landlords who use a letting agent can still be liable for certain penalties, even if it is their representative who fails to complete various tasks, such as returning a deposit. With this in mind, all landlords have an incentive to be very much in control and fully aware of the state of their tenancies.

Mr Norris went on to note that the NLA suggests all landlords who use the services of a letting agent should maintain regular contact with them, as they will be required to issue Prescribed Information to their tenant under the Housing Act 2004.

There is plenty to be gained by becoming a landlord and renting out properties, but it will always pay to do things by the book and stick to the regulations that have been set out.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801576305-ADNFCR

Published on: April 24, 2013

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