Flintshire Landlords were stung once before by a local agency that mis-handled deposits and rent…..
We shan’t name names, but, its “Eazy” to recall how lots of local landlords were owed rent and never paid and, how large amounts of tenants deposit monies were never bonded and subsequently lost.
As a landlord, it is you who is responsible for making sure that your tenants’ deposit is properly bonded with a government approved Deposit Protection Scheme – Even if you are using an agent to do it.
Many Landlords Do Not Realise
Many landlords don’t realise it, but, as the law stands, you the landlord are liable if anything goes wrong with the deposit, if the deposit is not bonded in a government approved Deposit Protection Scheme or, if the correct paperwork (the Prescribed Information) is not provided to the tenant.
If The Agent Fails To Handle The Deposit Correctly
You are still liable…. Yes – fact. The agent is merely that – acting as your agent. Its on you to make sure that the deposit is handled correctly. Its also on you if it is not
It Is Your Responsibility
The best way to ensure that the deposit is handled correctly is to handle it yourself.
Set up a DPS account in your name, and when the agent finds your tenant and they pay the first month rent in advance, along with the deposit, you should insist that the deposit is either;
a. Paid directly and immediately into your DPS account by the agent on the day the tenant moves in – or –
b. Have the monies transferred to you directly and immediately into your bank account by the agent on the day the tenant moves in. Once you have the funds in hand, you should immediately pay them into your DPS account
To Make Sure The Deposit Is Bonded
Whether you use an agent or not, the simplest way of making sure the deposit is officially bonded with a government approved Deposit Protection Scheme, is to insist on a Deposit Bonding Certificate.
All government authorised Deposit Protection Schemes provide the ability for the production of a Certificate Of Bonding. This will show details of the property, the tenant, the date the tenancy started, the date the money was paid and the date it was securely bonded.
Your tenant can also go to the relevant Deposit Protection Scheme website and search for the deposit details.
Ask For A Bonding Certificate
If your deposits have been handled by your agent, you should ask for a Certificate Of Bonding NOW – TODAY…
The agent should be able to provide this very quickly and usually via email in electronic format (PDF)
If you detect any reluctance or resistance to this request, you should start to ask more questions.
A good friend of ours has recently lost thousands of pounds when the agent he was using went bust with a mysterious deficit on the client account of over £120,000.00
The deposits were never bonded and now the landlord has to pay that money back to the tenants! Worse still, if the tenants were so minded , they could actually sue the landlord and not the agent.
Or Face The Consequences
If the deposit is not properly bonded with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme, there are consequences, which include
- You will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice for repossession
- Your tenant has the right to sue
- If your tenant sues you may be liable for
- Repaying the deposit in full immediately
- Damages in the amount of 2.5 times the value of the deposit
Ultimately, the buck stops with the landlord – That’s You
Don’t risk it – check your deposits NOW and if you find any funny business, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.