Following a year of concerted lobbying and pressure by the industry, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has tabled amendments to the Deregulation Bill intended to resolve issues arising from the case of Superstrike vs Marino Rodrigues.
The ruling from the case originally caused a great deal of confusion about whether tenancy deposits should be protected on statutory periodic extensions. The National Landlords Association (NLA) and partners moved quickly to provide guidance for landlords at the time and, despite agreement reached last summer that ministers were committed to legislating to correct the situation brought about by the case, landlords have been nervously waiting since to see what action will be taken.
Much of the progress of the Deregulation Bill through parliament has already taken place and while the amendments will first need to be agreed by both Houses it is unlikely to meet too much resistance.
If passed, the changes in legislation would mean that all landlords with tenancies that commenced post April 2007 and which were originally compliant with deposit protection legislation will be deemed to have complied.
Landlords with tenancies that commenced pre April 2007, which have become periodic and for which a deposit is still held, landlords will have 90 days following commencement of the legislation in order to protect the deposit and serve the appropriate prescribed information.
For all tenancies that have ceased or where a deposit is no longer held, landlords will be deemed to have complied.
Richard Lambert, chief executive officer at the NLA, said: “We are glad that the Government has listened to the case presented by the NLA and industry partners to put an end to a year of expensive and damaging uncertainty. The issues raised by the Superstrike case have become a concern for landlords and are of no benefit to private tenants interested in securing a home.
“While legally nothing has changed yet, these amendments represent a significant step in the right direction and provide reassurance to landlords across the UK that the Government has finally moved to sort this out. In the meantime landlords should continue to comply with law as it currently stands”.