Landlords and letting agents have been issued a reminder that they have less then three weeks to protect tenancy deposits with one of three government-approved schemes.
A change in law under the Deregulation Act means that tenancy deposits taken before April 6 2007 now fall under deposit protection law.
Landlords have until June 23 to register these deposits with one of three schemes, my|deposits, the Deposit Protection Service or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Any landlords who are holding unprotected deposits after this date could face a penalty of between one and three times the value of the deposit and restrictions on regaining possession of their property.
“Landlords have only a matter of weeks to comply before the amnesty ends and penalties take effect. A small number of deposits are exempt but I would urge any landlord who holds an unprotected deposit to register it immediately to avoid any future problems,” says TDS chief executive, Steve Harriott.
Harriott also said the Act has highlighted that many landlords have failed to protect deposits even under the existing laws.
“We have seen a surge in landlords contacting us in recent weeks. Many have only just become aware that they should have already protected deposits; a stark reminder that thousands of landlords have been falling foul of deposit protection law, often unknowingly.”
The TDS has also issued a reminder that if landlords do not give tenants full written information about their deposit protection they still face the fine, even if the deposit has been protected lawfully.
Earlier this week my|deposits published a best practice guide outlining how to use photos and videos as supporting evidence during a tenancy deposit dispute.