The Landlordzone website reports that a precedent has been set in the management of deposit protection for tenancies that are let as ‘joint and severally’.
The case in a London County Court concerned a three bedroom flat in Maida Vale let as a ‘house share’. The tenants were ‘jointly and severally’ liable for the rent and bills.
The tenancy had three ‘churns’ of tenants until the problems arose with the deposit. The tenants claimed damages for the non-protection of their deposits. The tenants’ case stated that at each change of tenants the deposit should have been updated and protected.
The landlord must pay £3,615 which is £1,205 in respect of each of the three ‘churns’ which produced a new tenancy. This is the smallest amount of damages that could be awarded as the judge felt that the landlord had not deliberately tried to dodge their deposit protection obligations.
It is important that landlords ensure that their tenancies are compliant with deposit protection legislation as an incorrectly protected deposit is one of the reasons tenants can avoid eviction and claim compensation payments. In addition, landlords should check with their deposit protection provider for when changes and notifications need to be provided as requirements do vary between providers.