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Landlord Legal Issues

Solicitor Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law answers your questions

Q. My tenant has just given notice to vacate her property and at the checkout meeting we discovered damage to carpets and the staircase which, together with the cleaning will wipe out her tenancy deposit. However she now tells me that as I did not re-serve the prescribed information within 30 days of her tenancy becoming periodic, I can't make any deductions and must pay her a penalty. Is this true?

A. Your tenant is talking about the recent Court of Appeal decision in the Superstrike case. In that case a landlord who took a tenancy deposit before the tenancy deposit regulations came into force in April 2007 was found to be in breach as the deposit was not protected and the prescribed information served, when the tenancy was renewed as a periodic tenancy after April 2007.

Until this case is appealed to the Supreme Court or the point is revisited by the Court of Appeal in another case, none of us are sure how this will affect tenancies where the deposit was properly protected at the start of the tenancy and the prescribed information served at that stage.

It may be that landlords will have to re-serve the prescribed information at this stage, or it may be that the court will hold that this is unnecessary if the information has not changed. We simply do not know.

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