Leaders warn of possible delay for forthcoming Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.
Leaders, the UKâ€™s largest independently owned letting specialists, are warning of a possible delay in the long-awaited Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) Scheme due to come into force on 6th April.
Says Leadersâ€™ Managing Director, Paul Weller: â€œWe are astonished to learn that the secondary legislation necessary for the implementation of the TDP Scheme has not yet been laid before Parliament because it is still awaiting clearance by the Welsh Assembly. This should have happened months ago, raising concerns as to whether the legislation will be ready to come into force in time for the 6th April deadline. The legislation has already missed the previous deadline of October 2006.â€?
The new legislation, which has been designed to protect tenants from unscrupulous practice concerning the holding and return of deposits, will apply to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies that begin on or after the implementation date (currently 6th April 2007), as well as to all tenancies renewed after that date, and will affect thousands of landlords and letting agents.
Once the legislation comes into force landlords will no longer be permitted to hold tenantsâ€™ deposits as they can at present. They will have to either pay the deposit into a custodial scheme or pay a premium to participate in an insured deposit scheme themselves or through their letting agent. Failure to do so – and to produce proof to the tenant – will have serious consequences and will result in the landlord being fined and forced to return the deposit to the tenant. He will also be unable to regain possession of his property by the serving of a Section 21 Notice, or to enforce the terms of the tenancy agreement by making deductions from the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Says Paul: â€œWe are delighted to see this new legislation coming into force as we have been campaigning for this for more than two decades. However, we are concerned about the fact that the legislation has not yet been laid before Parliament. This delay has knock-on effects because the three new bodies which have been set up to look after tenant deposits are not able to set their own rules and regulations until the secondary legislation has been passed. We are concerned the 6th April deadline could be missed, leaving thousands of tenants vulnerable. Our advice to anybody looking for a property to rent is to deal only with a reputable letting agent who is a member of ARLA to ensure that their deposit is held safely.â€?
As letting specialists who have been at the forefront of the industry for the last 24 years, Leaders were invited by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to contribute to the roundtable discussions that were run last year in order to facilitate discussion and understanding of the TDP Schemeâ€™s aims, and to raise positive awareness of the Scheme to those that will be affected by it, mainly landlords, tenants and letting agents.
Leaders are therefore keen to ensure that landlords fully understand the facts relating to this legislation and how it will affect them and their tenants. To this end the company will be running a series of free seminars on the TDP Scheme across Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire, the first of which will be held in Southampton on 16th January.
For further details about the TDP Seminars planned and to request an invitation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 345 4125.