mydeposits is contacting scores of tenants, landlords and agents explaining what action they need to take in the fall-out of the collapse of Ash Residential Property Management Limited (ARPM).
It has negotiated an extension for tenants to notify it of a possible dispute so that deposits in its insured-based scheme will continue to be protected until 22nd December 2022. Kate Mutter-Bowen, head of tenancy deposit protection at mydeposits, tells LandlordZONE: “We’re working hard to go a bit further than we need to under the current deposit legislation – offering a 365-day extension to raise a dispute whereas we could have unprotected all deposits after 90 days.”
Tenants can lodge a claim for the return of their deposit (or the amount they would be entitled to at the end of their tenancy) so long as the tenancy has ended, and they have left the property, by 22nd December 2022. Tenants will need to fill in a dispute notification form and return it to mydeposits by 21st December 2021. Landlords will be asked to confirm that their tenant is due the deposit monies claimed for.
It’s a pretty complicated situation, and at least 8,000 tenancies are affected. mydeposits has explained to affected landlords that even though ARPM held deposits in its bank account, it is they who are ultimately responsible for the protection of tenancy deposits even if they have instructed an agent to protect the deposit on their behalf. They will need to ensure that either they or their letting agent protect the tenant’s deposit by 22nd December 2021 or risk a fine.
Landlords and tenants can email firstname.lastname@example.org so it can release a copy of the deposit protection certificate to them. Tenants might also need to provide a copy of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement while landlords might need to show a copy of the land registry office copy entries.
mydeposits is telling landlords that if they don’t agree that some or all of the deposit should be returned to their tenant, it needs evidence and will then make a decision about the amount due. It says: “Unfortunately, under the current deposit legislation, we do not reimburse the landlord. And if the tenant’s agreement has not ended by 22nd December 2022, the responsibility for the return of your deposit will fall to the landlord.”
Landlords who haven’t received their rent from ARPM need to approach the Client Money Protect scheme and will be asked to provide rent statements proving that they were receiving funds which suddenly stopped.
ARPM is registered with both Client Money Protect and mydeposits, but the set-up did not cover agents against fees owed by ARPM. As a result, agents will have to join the creditors’ queue or make a claim to ARPM’s PI insurance provider. mydeposits has also told letting agents that if they made good any deposits or rents themselves, then these cannot be claimed from the CMP scheme or from mydeposits as they are not considered under the legislation and regulations to be client money. Instead, they need to approach the Professional Indemnity Insurer, for ARPM, or contact the Liquidator – Neum Insolvency in Harrow.
Agents have already been sent letters, while tenants and landlords will be notified on 19th October.