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Deposit Compensation if a Landlord Doesn’t Follow Tenancy Deposit Rules

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Whether you are a student moving into rented digs near your university or you are a short or long-term renter it is never too early to start thinking about getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy agreement or understanding your rights as a tenant when it comes to tenancy deposit compensation. When money is tight for both landlords and tenants it can increase the risk of deposit claims and disputes and that’s why landlord and tenant solicitors say it best to understand your tenancy deposit rights and how to claim compensation.

Online and London Landlord and Tenant Law Solicitors

For landlord and tenant legal advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form .

Tenancy deposit rules

Tenancy deposit rules state that a landlord has to protect the deposit of an assured shorthold tenant in an approved deposit scheme within 30 days of getting the deposit from a tenant. The deposit must remain protected in an approved scheme throughout the duration of the tenancy. When the landlord receives the deposit, they are under an obligation to give a tenant prescribed information about the deposit scheme.

The key point about the tenancy deposit rules is that your landlord can't use the deposit to help with their cash flow or to pay for any necessary repairs on the property.

You can't be expected to pay more than 5 weeks of rent as a tenancy deposit and alarm bells should ring if you are asked to pay more than that amount or if your landlord or the letting agent does not give you the prescribed deposit information within the 30-day time limit.

Tenancy deposit claims

If your landlord doesn’t follow the tenancy deposit rules there are consequences. You may be able to bring a compensation claim. The compensation could amount to between 1 to 3 times the amount of the deposit.

If you don’t think your landlord has followed the tenancy deposit rules give our landlord and tenant solicitors a call on 0203 959 9123 for advice on your best options.

Sometimes it can be best to wait until the end of the assured shorthold tenancy to claim compensation because a landlord can't serve a section 21 notice if they haven’t followed the tenancy deposit rules. This gives you section 21 protection that you may not want to lose by making a claim too early.

Even if you have left the rented property, you may still have a claim as there is a time limit of 6 years to bring a claim.

Tenancy deposit rules and evictions

In addition to potential compensation claims, if your landlord fails to comply with tenancy deposit rules it has implications for them trying to evict you from the property.

A landlord cannot usually give you an effective and valid section 21 eviction notice if:

  • Your deposit was not protected in an approved scheme
  • The deposit was protected late – outside the 30-day rule
  • The landlord failed to give you the prescribed written information about your deposit

Late protection can be confusing as if you have had a number of assured shorthold tenancies at the property it doesn’t count as late protection if your deposit was protected by the landlord or letting agent within 30 days of the most recent fixed term tenancy starting or your last fixed term tenancy ending.

Your landlord may be able to use a section 21 notice if they return your deposit to you or give you the written information first. Section 21 notice rules can be complicated so if you get a section 21 notice it is best to get landlord and tenant legal advice as soon as you get the notice.

A landlord can choose to give you a section 8 eviction notice rather than using section 21 to get possession of the property. They may decide to do that because a landlord can give a valid section 8 even if they have not protected your deposit under the tenancy deposit rules. However, if a landlord is trying to evict you for rent arrears, you can counterclaim for compensation if your landlord has failed to comply with the tenancy deposit protection rules.

Tenancy deposit claims

If your landlord doesn’t follow the rules on tenancy deposits you can bring a court claim. To avoid court action, you may prefer to get a landlord and tenant solicitor to send a letter before action on your behalf threatening court proceedings. If the landlord takes housing legal advice, and understands they are in the wrong, they may be willing to pay you around 1 to 3 times the amount of the deposit to avoid the hassle of court proceedings.

If your landlord doesn’t respond to a letter before action then the next step is to start court proceedings by lodging an application and supporting witness statement detailing how the landlord breached the tenancy deposit rules by not protecting the deposit, doing so late, or not giving you the prescribed information. The statement should go into some detail and a landlord and tenant solicitor can help you write a statement to best ensure you get the compensation you deserve. They can also advise on the best evidence to support your claim. The next stage is to get a court hearing date unless your landlord acknowledges they are in the wrong and agrees to pay you compensation before the court hearing.

Landlord and tenant help

In addition to advising on deposit compensation claims our landlord and tenant solicitors can also help you with:

  • Answering your questions about your assured shorthold tenancy
  • Repair disputes and disrepair claims
  • Deposit disputes at the end of an assured shorthold tenancy
  • Eviction proceedings
  • Tenant harassment claims

What our landlord and tenant clients say about OTS Solicitors:

  • I would like to say huge thank you to my case worker Nollienne Alparaque. Nollienne has shown a unique professionalism during our case, handling it perfectly. Her skills and expertise are proven, and I would definitely recommend Nollienne
  • I've just received some excellent and very useful advice from Philip Saville of OTS, who was incredibly efficient, knowledgeable and helpful. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending him. Thank you
  • I worked with Nollienne Alparaque at OTS and she was incredibly knowledgeable regarding Tenant/Landlord responsibilities, case laws. I was very unsure how to handle my situation as people usually say not to get solicitors involved but honestly, it was the best decision I could have made; I wish I would have reached out to Nollienne sooner. I would very much recommend Nollienne to anybody who is feeling lost regarding tenant/landlord disputes - she is a great professional to have on your side
  • I received outstanding service from OTS regarding a tenancy dispute. The matter was handled swiftly and professionally by Nollienne Alparaque from start to finish. I could not recommend their services more nor thank them enough

Online and London Landlord and Tenant Law Solicitors

For landlord and tenant legal advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form .

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