In our final instalment of articles about tenancy deposits, we look at what a Landlord can do if he finds himself in a position where he has mistakenly failed to comply with the requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
How do I evict my tenant?
As we saw last week – ‘Failing to Protect a Deposit: The Sanctions’ – a Landlord will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice if he has failed to protect a tenancy deposit.
This can leave the Landlord in a difficult position if he wants to evict the Tenant, but there are a number of ways to deal with this.
- Serve a Section 8 Notice
A Landlord who has not protected the deposit can serve a Section 8 Notice if there are, for example, rent arrears. It is important to note however that the Tenant could bring a counter claim for the financial penalty for failing to protect the deposit, which could be set off against any arrears.
- Return the Deposit
While far from ideal for most Landlords, if the Landlord repays the deposit to the Tenant, he will then be permitted to serve a s.21 Notice. This can be used in situations where a Landlord needs possession of the property but cannot satisfy any of the grounds that can be relied upon for a s.8 Notice.
- Standard Possession Procedure
Even where the deposit has been returned, a Landlord will still not be able to use the Accelerated Possession Procedure that he usually would be able to after service of a s.21 Notice.
This will mean that there will certainly be a hearing for the possession proceedings rather than it be dealt with on paper. While this makes the procedure for obtaining of a possession order lengthier, it means that landlords who have innocently failed to comply with the rules still have a method of obtaining possession.
- Provide the Prescribed Information
If the Landlord protected the deposit, but did not provide the prescribed information to the Tenant, again the Landlord cannot serve a Section 21 Notice. However, he may be able to do so after he has provided the necessary information.
What about the Financial Sanctions? How do I get out of those?
Unfortunately, even late compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme requirements can lead to financial penalty for the Landlord. However the Court should be more lenient if attempts have been made to rectify the situation.
Protect the deposit on time and comply with the various requirements. If you are unsure of what needs to be done, or whether you have complied with the rules, do seek early legal advice.
For a free consultation with qualified property solicitors call us on 0800 988 7756.