There has been a significant increase in landlords who want to obtain possession of their property who did not protect their tenants deposit at the commencement of the tenancy. The deposit must be returned to the tenant before a Section 21 notice requiring possession can be validly served which can result in significant delay.
Informing landlords who ask us to commence possession proceedings that in fact they are going to have to wait at least another two months because the deposit needs to be returned and a new section 21 served is becoming very common and if landlords have a sale of that property dependent upon obtaining possession that simple failure to protect the deposit could cost them both their buyer and a substantial statutory penalty.
What can landlords do?
If you find yourself in this situation consult a specialist property litigator immediately, don't wait, time is of the essence. We can advise you what needs to be done and get the paperwork prepared as quickly as possible for you. Tenants are more aware of their rights than ever and it is very common for claims to be made for recovery of their deposit and the statutory penalty.
Obviously it is best to avoid this situation in the first place by ensuring that at the very beginning of the tenancy the deposit is protected and the Prescribed Information given to the tenant within the statutory timeframe. Information is provided on each of the statutory scheme websites to help you avoid any pitfalls.