In a recent case, a landlord decided they wanted their property back on the expiry of an assured short hold tenancy. They issued possession proceedings under the accelerated procedure.
A £600 deposit, which had been placed in an approved deposit protection scheme, had been paid at the start of the tenancy. The schedule of the prescribed information was subsequently served upon the defendant as required. However, the schedule that was served was incomplete as a result of:
- It not being signed and certified by the landlord as being complete to the best of their knowledge and belief.
- Not including the tenant’s details.
- The leaflet produced as part of the deposit protection scheme not being served.
A defence was lodged and the matter listed for hearing. However, at the hearing, the possession claim was dismissed by a 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.
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