Tenancy Deposits Back in the Localism Bill

We have previously posted on amendments to the Localism Bill tabled in Commons committee which would have had the effect of rewriting the tenancy deposit protection provisions in the Housing Act 2004.

The changes were designed to reset the position back to that which was set out by the government when it originally put the provisions forward and before the legislation was undermined by a number of Court of Appeal decisions.

The amendments were not supported by the Government in Commons committee and were withdrawn on the basis that an alternative would be put in place. However, there has been no alternative forthcoming thus far and time is getting short.… Read the full post

Eviscerated? Now also Drawn and Quartered

Gladehurst Properties Ltd v Hashemi [2011] EWCA Civ 604 (Not on BAILII at time of writing)
UPDATE: Transcript now available on BAILII

In Tiensia LJ Sedley said that the decision of the majority ‘eviscerated’ the tenancy deposit protection legislation. The Court of Appeal has now returned to complete the job with a hanging by the neck until almost dead followed by a quartering with the body parts to be distributed throughout the kingdom.

The facts were relatively simple. Mr Hashemi was a tenant, along with a Mr Johnson, of Gladehurst Properties. The tenancy deposit of some £6,240 was never protected by G. Much of that deposit (less a deduction of … Read the full post

Not So Protected

Potts v Densley & Anor [2011] EWHC 1144 (QB)

Another case on tenancy deposit protection has hit the High Court, with a rather strange outcome.

P was the tenant of D and another party. The deposit was not protected during the tenancy. This was raised by P towards the end of the tenancy and D apparently offered to return the money to her. She declined and insisted it was protected. The tenancy was then ended by notice from P and she vacated the property. The deposit money was then placed with the DPS but the prescribed information was never served on P. In fact, it seems that DPS had not … Read the full post

Tenancy Deposits in the Localism Bill?

A brief note to highlight some unexpected amendments that have been tabled to the Localism Bill. The latest marshalled list includes new sections which are designed to make amendments to the Housing Act 2004 and specifically to the tenancy deposit protection provisions.

The changes dispose of the unclear concept of ‘initial requirements’ and remove the late protection loophole revealed by cases such as Draycott v Hannells and Tiensia v Univeresal Estates. They also remove the loophole utilised by some landlords of returning the deposit to the tenant and then asserting that s214(4) only requires that they pay the three times penalty if they have also been ordered to pay … Read the full post

Distinguishing Tiensia

Gemma Shepley v Majid Yassen, Tameside County Court, Thursday 13th January 2011 (Unreported)

The above case on the, increasingly litigated, tenancy deposit protection provisions was brought to our attention and is of particular interest as it specifically distinguishes itself from the Court of Appeal decision in Tiensia (reported on here).

In this case the tenant was granted a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy in late November 2007. This was renewed for a further 12 months on expiry and then continued on a periodic basis until February 2010 when the tenant vacated the premises and the tenancy came to an end. The tenant was informed that most of their … Read the full post

Tenancy Deposit Protection Eviscerated

Tiensia v Vision Enterprises Ltd (t/a Universal Estates) [2010] EWCA Civ 1224 (11 November 2010)

This is the long awaited Court of Appeal decision on tenancy deposit protection. It is a conjoined appeal of Universal Estates v Tiensia and Honeysuckle Properties v Fletcher.

The facts of the two cases are very similar. In both cases the landlord had issued proceedings for possession for arrears of rent. The tenants had in both cases counterclaimed on the basis that the deposit was unprotected and the landlords had then put the deposits into the scheme operated by Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (trading as MyDeposits) prior to the hearing of the tenant’s claim … Read the full post

Mr Pickles is unlawful and other bits

Eric Pickles hearing the judgmentCala Homes (South) Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government & Anor [2010] EWHC 2866 (Admin) found Eric Pickles, SoS at DCLG, acted unlawfully in scrapping the Regional Strategies for housing development, which also, lest we forget, included requirements for local authorities to identify and develop sites for travellers and gypsys. Mr Pickles had announced the decision to scrap the strategies under s79(6) of the Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.

Alas for Mr Pickles, this has turned out to be unlawful because:
a) the decision involved using that power for an improper purpose by “undermining the policy of the LDEDCA 2009 that there should … Read the full post

When more means less

Green v Sinclair Investments Limited Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court. 11 June 2010

This is a County Court and non-binding tenancy deposit case reported in September 2010 Legal Action ‘Recent Developments’. But it is interesting and harks back to a problem we discussed a while ago, the meaning of ‘must also’ in s.214(4) Housing Act 2004.

In this case, there was a one year assured shorthold tenancy, with a deposit of £2100. The deposit was not protected. The tenancy ended after 7 months by surrender, in July 2009. The former tenant send a letter of claim in September for the return of the deposit and the 3x deposit penalty. … Read the full post