Deposit error landlord loses eviction claim

Landlord’s wish to evict fails on Deposit Protection mistake

A landlord decided they wanted possession of their property and eviction of the tenants on the expiry of an assured short hold tenancy. They issued possession proceedings under the accelerated procedure.

The tenants were not in arrears and the Landlord believed they had complied with all the requirements as to deposit protection and notices.

The  £600 deposit had been placed in an approved deposit protection scheme, at the start of the tenancy. The schedule of prescribed information had been served on the tenant. However, unfortunately for the landlord the schedule that was served was incomplete because:

  • It had not being signed and certified by the landlord as being complete to the best of their knowledge and belief.
  • It did not including the tenant’s details.
  • The leaflet produced as part of the deposit protection scheme was not included

A defence was lodged and at the hearing, the possession claim was dismissed by the district judge with costs.

Herein lies a valuable lesson. The prescribed information is clearly set out in The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007, which states that all of the prescribed information must be served.

In this particular case, the court found that:

  • The landlord was in breach of the statute
  • Had not ‘complied with the initial requirements’ of the scheme
  • The landlord could not rely upon any s.21 notice to quit until the initial requirements had been compiled

This case serves to show exactly why landlords must ensure they comply with the rules when using the accelerated procedure, as judges can, and will, dismiss cases where paperwork is incomplete, missing or not served properly. Moss & Co check all documents for compliance with the rules before issuing.  Read about common  mistakes here. The Law is a sharp tool and must be used accurately or it will not do the job.

landlord eviction case

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