Harvey v Bamforth, Sheffield County Court, Estates Gazette, 23 Aug, 2008, pg 22.
The introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (“TDS”) was one of the more positive reforms to housing law in recent years. It has previously been discussed by NL here and here, by Housed here and here and by Landlord Law here, all of which are worth a read and, helpfully, save me from having to say much about the scheme.
In the Harvey case, it appears that the landlord had taken a deposit and had placed it in one of the prescribed schemes, but had failed to provide the prescribed paperwork to the tenant, detailing where the deposit was held, etc. The District Judge found this to be a breach of TDS provisions and awarded the mandatory damages of 3 times the value of the deposit. The landlord had, however, provided the relevant paperwork once the tenant issued proceedings.
The landlord appealed to the Circuit Judge (HHJ Bullimore), who reversed the decision of the District Judge. As best as I can tell, the Circuit Judge took the view that provision of the prescribed information at any stage prior to the hearing was sufficient to comply with the requirements of the TDS and, hence, that no damages were payable.
The landlord was funded by the Residential Landlords Association, whose press release can be found here. I’ve written to the RLA to see if there is a transcript but we here at the NL team would be very interested to hear from anyone who was involved with this case.
[For all tenancy deposit case posts click here]