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Landlords with tenants on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) are still required to protect deposits with one of three government-approved schemes. Landlords must also issue tenants with paperwork relating to their deposit protection, known collectively as the Prescribed Information, within 30 days of the start of the tenancy.

However, landlords are no longer required by law to re-protect tenants’ deposits or to re-issue all the paperwork when they renew their tenancy or if they roll on to a statutory periodic tenancy, assuming the landlord, tenant and premises remain the same and providing the landlord correctly protected the deposit and issued all the Prescribed Information at the outset.

This is a relief for landlords because it reverses the ruling in the Superstrike v Rodriguez court case two years ago, which decided that deposits for new periodic tenancies must be re-protected, and left many of those who had failed to do so in fear of prosecution.

As the penalty for failing to correctly protect deposits is up to three times the value, paid to the tenant, several no win, no fee firms have been encouraging tenants to sue their landlords on a technicality following the ruling in 2013.

Thankfully now the Deregulation Act has removed this threat for landlords who didn’t re-protect deposits.

However, if a landlord chooses to move the deposit to a different scheme, however, he will have to re-issue the tenant with all the Prescribed Information.

Also, some deposit protection schemes might still require landlords to pay to re-protect the deposit when renewing a fixed term tenancy agreement, you’ll need to check the rules with the scheme you are using, but you won’t have to re-send tenants any of the paperwork.

The Deregulation Act has also made it clear that deposits taken before 6 April 2007 don’t need to be protected unless the tenancy became a statutory periodic after 6 April 2007, in which case landlords have until June 23 at the latest to protect them without incurring any financial penalty.

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