Q. My tenant paid me a deposit when the property was let in March 2007 on a six month fixed term and the tenancy has run on as a periodic ever since. I did not think I needed to protect the deposit but my tenant tells me that I do. Is she right?
A. Yes. In 2007 the general understanding was that landlords in this position did not need to protect. However, in the case of Superstrike v. Rodrigues in 2013 the Court of Appeal found that the landlord was in breach of the regulations by failing to protect where the fixed term ended after the regulations came into force on 6 April 2007. This came as a bit of a nasty surprise to everyone!
The tenancy deposit regulations have now been amended via the Deregulation Act 2015 which confirms the Court of Appeals decision. However, landlords in your position have been given until 23 June 2015, to regularise their position by protecting the deposit and serving the prescribed information.
You need therefore to make sure that you do this before that date. If you do, you will be safe. You will be able to serve a valid section 21 notice (at least in this respect) and your tenant will not be able to sue you for the penalty.