In what is believed to be one of the first cases brought by tenants under new government regulations started in 2012 (and some calling it a ‘landmark ruling’), a couple in Edinburgh was awarded three times the value of the deposit. The landlord has been ordered to pay the money as he failed to protect it in one of the Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes.
The couple moved out of their flat in July this year and discovered that the landlord has not done so. They have since decided to take the landlord to court. At this time we do not know if the landlord will decide to appeal and, obviously, the above case was in Scotland which has a separate legislation. However, legislation in England and Wales allows the tenants to apply to the county court which can order the landlord to:
- repay it to you,
- protect the deposit,
- as well as order the landlord to pay up to 3 times the deposit.
Sam Zalewski has commented: “Since the introduction of the legislation and the changes last year, it is quite clear the government is serious about dealing with rouge landlords. It is true there are number of law abiding landlords who find themselves at the wrong end of the stick but ensuring the deposit is protected should be as much a priority as making sure the property has valid gas safety certificate.”
Worryingly, the ‘no win, no fee’ industry started targeting tenancy deposit claims. The issue grew to a point that it has been taken up by BBC’s You and Yours. It was found that there is a growing number of information requests from claims management companies to tenancy deposit schemes. Their targets are landlords who failed to either protect the deposit or provide prescribed information within specified time limit.
You can check few examples of such companies: