Tenants in London now have protection against private landlords who charge them with exorbitant tenancy deposits. This development came after changes were made to the Tenant Fees Act, which was implemented in June 2019.
According to the rules, for rental properties with an annual rent of less than £50,000, landlords can ask for only five weeks’ rent for the deposit. If the property’s yearly rent is over £50,000, the maximum deposit should be worth six weeks’ rent only. Tenants who renewed their tenancies since the implementation of the rules will receive a refund, including those with deposits handed over before the rules were changed.
Tenants who were charged a deposit that was higher than the maximum amount will receive a refund that is equivalent to the difference of what they paid and the maximum amount (five weeks’ rent) allowed.
A group that helps renters and protect their rights is calling on all tenants with tenancies that commenced before June 1, 2019, as well as those whose rented homes are in the same area and renewed their tenancies to verify if they were eligible for a refund.
Tenant Fees Act
The Tenant Fees Act was implemented to help tenants lessen possible financial burden at the start and until the end of their tenancy. Additionally, it allows tenants to have transparency, ensuring hidden costs are avoided when it comes to property costs.
After the Act was set into action last year, there has been a significant drop in deposits. The average tenant now enjoys savings equivalent to at least 11%.
The Tenant Fees Act allows landlords to collect only the following payments:
- Rental fee
- Tenancy deposit that follows the five weeks/six weeks’ maximum allowable amount
- Early tenancy termination payments
- Holding deposit
- Utilities fees, payments for communication services
- Payments for Council Tax
- Payments for TV licences
- Payments for tenancy assignment or variation
Tenants are required by law to pay their landlords a deposit as an assurance of their commitment to the tenancy agreement. Additionally, landlords can use the deposit if the property has damage or any issues caused by the tenant.
Landlords, on the other hand, are required to protect their tenants’ deposit by registering the money into any of the three government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes: Tenancy Deposit Scheme, mydeposits, and Deposit Protection Scheme.
Putting their tenants’ deposit into a protection scheme is the best way to protect it from landlords who plan to use the money for their personal use.
A landlord who has not protected deposit can be fined or asked by a court to pay deposit protection compensation to their tenant.
At the end of the tenancy agreement, when the tenant leaves the property, the landlord is required to return or refund the deposit. If the landlord fails to do so, they are liable to pay compensation to the tenant. The only instances where landlords are allowed not to return or deduct a portion from the deposit are when there are damages or issues in the property, or when the tenant has rental arrears.
Landlords who neglect their responsibilities by ignoring tenants’ inquiries or requests about tenant deposits are the main reason why there are thousands of tenant deposit disputes.
Tenancy deposit claims
A landlord has to protect their tenants’ deposit within 30 days from the day they received the payment.
If a landlord fails to protect their tenant’s deposit, a tenant can go to court and file for a tenancy deposit protection claim. The typical penalty amount for landlords is one to three times the deposit’s amount. For example, if the tenant deposited £700 at the beginning of the tenancy, the penalty will be £2,100 if the landlord has to pay compensation.
If you think your landlord has been neglecting their rights, find a team of expert solicitors who can help you with the process. Choose one whose solicitors are experienced and committed to helping tenants like you go through the process easily.
It is also ideal to work with a team of solicitors that makes claiming for tenancy protection compensation; one that offers:
- A no-win-no-fee policy – So you don’t have to worry about extra expenses after losing a claim.
- No upfront payments – The team won’t pressure you into paying for services that do not have results yet; advance payments aren’t necessary.
- A team of experienced experts – The team has vast knowledge and experience. Their years in the industry have made them experts in the field.
- Authorised and regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority
Get in touch with the team of expert solicitors at Tenancy Deposit Claims and be guaranteed that your chances of winning your tenancy deposit protection compensation claim. It’s not going to be an easy process and can take a while to finish, but working with a good team will help make things easier to accomplish.