Landlord News

NLA Warns of No Win No Fee Deposit Claims

Em Morley - August 2, 2013

Chairman of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Carolyn Uphill, recently appeared on BBC Radio 4 to issue a warning to landlords regarding their tenants’ deposits.

Appearing on the You and Yours programme, Uphill urged landlords to make sure that they have protected deposits in compliance with Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) law. Her warning comes as a result of a rising number of information requests to several TDP schemes from no win no fee solicitors. These solicitors are working on behalf of tenants to target landlords who have not sufficiently protected their money.

Legislation

By law, landlords in England and Wales must adhere to legislation and protect any deposits from tenants in a Government approved TDP scheme. In addition, landlords must pass on information on where and how they have protected money to the tenant within 30 working days. This is known as the Prescribed Information.

NLA Warns of No Win No Fee Deposit Claims

NLA Warns of No Win No Fee Deposit Claims

Landlords that fail to comply with this legislation can face hefty penalties. As a result, more and more claims organisations are willing tenants not yet in receipt of their Prescribed Information to push on with claims against their landlord.

Protection

Uphill strongly supports landlords being targeted by these types of claims companies. She angrily said: “You have to ask where the financial loss for the tenant is. The majority of tenants’ deposits are being protected and 99% of tenancies end without any issues over the return of the deposit.”[1]

She concedes: “Where there is blatant disregard for the law, landlords can have no argument and must be brought to rights.”

She maintains however: “These claims firms are looking to exploit those landlords who have protected their tenants’ deposits but may have not properly issued the Prescribed Information. In practice this could simply mean not providing their tenant with a leaflet about where the deposit is protected.”[1]

Uphill goes as far as to say: “This sort of action is morally questionable, unnecessarily punitive, and will only work to undermine the good relationship that exists between the majority of landlords and their tenants.”[1]

Responsibility

Eddie Hooker, CEO of TDP scheme my|deposits, was bullish on the claims, suggesting: “It has always been the landlords’ responsibility to protect the deposit and a vital part of the process is to pass the Prescribed Information on to the tenant.”[1]

He continued by saying: “Landlords must be aware that they are ultimately responsible even if they use a letting agent,” before warning, “those who fail to comply with either step of the legislation leave themselves open to potential fines of up to three times the deposit value.”[1]

[1] http://www.landlords.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/nla-warns-landlords-no-win-no-fee-deposit-claims