Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Super Strike Tenancy Deposit Protection Rules


contributed by Satish Harpalani

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Superstrike Ltd v. Marino Rodrigues has caused fresh uncertainty over the operation of the Deposit Protection Rules for Landlords.  In that case, where the deposit had been paid prior to 2007, the judge ruled that the Landlord should have protected the deposit when the initial short-hold tenancy came to an end because the resulting periodic tenancy was a new tenancy.  In Superstrike, the fixed term tenancy ended after 2007 and a statutory periodic tenancy started because the Tenant stayed on.  The Landlord argued that because the deposit had been paid prior to section 213 of the Housing Act 2004 coming into force in April 2007, the deposit protection rules did not apply to this case.  But, in agreeing with the Tenant, the Court of Appeal held that the deposit had to be regarded as being paid and received in respect of the statutory periodic tenancy, and as the Landlord had failed to protect the deposit or serve any prescribed information it was unable to regain possession of the property. 

General impact of this decision on other deposits

This decision potentially also affects all deposits taken after 2007, even where they have been protected, if a statutory periodic tenancy subsequently comes into being and the Landlord has not served the prescribed information upon the Tenant that the deposit under the new periodic tenancy is protected.  Housing minister, Mark Prisk, has confirmed that this was not the intention of parliament when passing the legislation and that the government are considering whether new legislation is required to address the situation.  In the meantime, in order to protect themselves in such circumstances, Landlords could decide to re-serve the prescribed information upon their Tenants which may ensure that they can rely upon the section 21 procedure if they wish to end the tenancy. 

Each case is different and it may also be advisable to re-protect the deposit or enter into suitable communication with the tenant to avoid future uncertainty.  In all such instances it is therefore important that you take appropriate advice in the matter.

Satish Harpalani is a Solicitor-Advocate (All Higher Courts) at Harpers, Solicitors & Advocates, 75 Gray’s Inn Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TS. Tel: 020 7405 8888.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Landlord & Letting Show @ The Barbican

Steve and Carl will be at the Barbican in London on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September. After launching our website at this event in March and receiving such a superb response, the guys are excited about returning to showcase our new package deals and features of the website.

If you are heading to the event next week and want to know how BoxLet's unique approach to online lettings can work for you, find us here at Stand 69:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

BoxLet at the Welsh Landlords Open Day

Carl and Steve will be making the trip down to Cardiff on Monday 20th May to host our stand at the Welsh Landlords Open Day between 3 and 8pm, at the City Hall.

If you have any questions about who we are, what we do and how we can help, they will be more than happy to speak with you and offer any advice you need if you are considering letting your property.

The event is organised by the Residential Landlords' Association and is free for all landlords to attend.  The day will also be full of practical information and bring you up to date with upcoming changes in the law that will affect landlords in Wales.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Monday, 29 April 2013

BoxLet - The Online Letting Agent

What does an Online Letting Agent do?

Are you a landlord?  Do you self-manage your properties?  Then you might need BoxLet. 

We are not a traditional High Street letting agent.  Our presence as an exclusively online letting agent, means that we do not have the typical overheads of normal agents, so we can pass huge savings on to you!

If you want to get maximum exposure for your property, including Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation and hundreds of others, we can get you there for just £39 inc VAT and you will stay there until your property is let.

We also offer a one-stop solution for all other products you might need, including Energy Performance Certificates, Gas Safety Certificates, Inventories, Floorplans and, of course, Tenancy Agreements.

You don't have to use us to advertise your properties to purchase our products, you can use us exactly how you choose.

How easy is it to rent my property?

It is very straight forward:

  1. You simply write a description of your property on our site using a simple form with tool tips to guide you.
  2. Add your pictures.
Is it really that simple?  Try it yourself.

We promise that you will not be charged to complete the process.  The beauty of BoxLet is that you can upload all of your properties to your own Property Portfolio admin area for absolutely no cost.  Our system will even remind you if :
  • your tenancies are coming to an end
  • your gas certificates are expiring
  • your EPC is about to expire
Your properties will be held in your admin area until you are ready to advertise, you will just have to make any amendments to the details as necessary and then pay just £39 to have your property seen on all major property portals.

Once your property has been let just log into your account Portfolio and tell us with a click.  You property is then saved, ready for the next time you need to advertise - no fees, no subscriptions, no fuss.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

New ways to protect a tenant's deposit

Up to now, landlords have had the choice of three schemes to protect their tenant's deposit:

1. The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS): the landlord pays the deposit to the scheme and registers it. The scheme hold the money until the end of the tenancy and pay out the proportions that are agreed to each party directly. This scheme is free to use and is known as a custodial scheme.

2 & 3 The Dispute Service (TDS) & Tenancy Deposit Solutions (My Deposit): the landlord can keep the tenant's deposit but they must register it with either of these schemes. The landlord pays a premium to the scheme to protect the tenant if money due back to them at the end of the tenancy is not paid. These are known as insurance schemes.

From 1st April, two new options will be available, both are insurance based schemes:

1. DPS: the custodial scheme provider will be starting their insurance based product. More information can be found here:

2. Capita TDP: a brand new insurance based scheme. More details here:

Remember, landlords must protect a tenants deposit within 30 days and provide the
tenant with the appropriate scheme's Prescribed Information or the tenant can claim up to 400% of their deposit back from the landlord. 

Landlords must ensure that deposits are continuously covered, i.e. if the tenancy renews you must inform the scheme provider and give the tenant the Prescribed Information again. Each scheme works a little differently so please make sure you check with your provider regularly and you are clear on the requirements of your chosen scheme.