Landlords have been given a two month grace period to register deposits with official government schemes, or face financial penalties. Sound serious? That’s because it is. The new laws are not only designed to protect tenants but are also intended to make the process of leasing a property easier, safer and more streamlined. Want to know more? Whether you’re a landlord, a tenant or simply someone with an interest in the British property market, read on for everything you need to know about the new regulations.
Who needs to register?
Any British landlord with an “assured short hold tenancy” agreement is required to register their deposit with an official scheme. Most buy to let properties fall into this category.
How much is at stake?
Under the new government regulations any landlord that fails to register tenant deposits with an official scheme will risk fines of up to £3,600. Fines are calculated by multiplying the initial deposit by three.
When is the deadline?
The UK government has given landlords a two month grace period to comply with the new regulations. By June 23 all deposits must be officially registered.
Where should deposits be registered?
In England deposits must be registered with one of three government backed schemes – Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Already these three organisations have reported a surge in new registrations which means that landlords are definitely listening up and making an active effort to avoid fines! Costs range from £0 to £24 which makes it a small price to pay for the reassurance that a fine isn’t on the horizon.
What are the benefits?
For tenants, the new regulations offer total peace of mind that in the case of any disputes their money will not be unfairly withheld. All cases are reviewed by an official board which gets to the bottom of any disagreements and hands down a fair verdict. For landlords, the official deposit registration process is an important part of gaining status as a responsible and competent proprietor. In the case of a dislodgement dispute landlords that haven’t registered deposits will be considered negligent which can seriously jeopardise their case.
Whether leasing a small studio or a multi-level apartment it’s critical to stay compliant. As well as registering tenant deposits with official government backed schemes this also means taking out landlords insurance, keeping up to date with safety certificates and ensuring properties are fit for inhabitation.