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Hi posting this on behalf of a freind here so I will give a little background first.

 

Freinds are a couple and have a Joint AST from 2009 with a deposit and a garunator. As I understand it the Guarantee is invalid as it was not executed as deed at the time, but all rents are and have been kept up to date but may become relveant.

 

Basically the tenancy became a SPT at the end of the fixed term, they paid their rent and deposit to an agency and had a LTD company as a landlord.

 

A few months into the fixed term (pre loaclaism act), came to light that deposit hadn't been protected. They mentioned this with the lettings agent, who duly placed it in he DPS and made an attempt at giving the prescribed information but missed a couple of bits. Friends were happy as had been burnt by previous rouge and just wanted their £ in a scheme. Agency a bit "key happy" so a swift lock barrel change and a letter sorted that out for them.

 

Fast froward to 2013 and it has become apparent that the property have been sold by the LTD company to a private (and seemingly naive with the rules LL) with sitting tenants. It has been confirmed to them that exchange and completion have taken place.

 

At no point has the LTD company, the agency or the new LL fulfilled ANY of their obligations under the LL & T act 1985. It appears that the agency is working for both new LL and LTD LL. This has never been properly confirmed and my friends are rightly concerned that they don't end up paying the new and old LL.

 

Cue letters to the old Ltd company, new LL and agency requesting this is fufiled ASAP. Having been burned in the past have indicated to all parties that as the LL identity is in question, they will hold the rent in a spare empty bank account they have and will pay all back rent once the correct owners of the rent have made themselves known.

 

Instead of fulfilling their obligations the agency wanted to sign them up to a new fixed term. This did not suit my friends as even before this they were planning on buying or moving somewhere with parking so declined the offer but made clear they were happy to continue the SPT with a new LL. Agency also wanted to raise the rent by £15/pm (pointed out that market rents have atchaully fallen in the area and £15/pm is quickly wiped out by a small void period, and I suspect the agency just wants to charge them and the new LL a load of fees)

 

After sending this back they got a S21 notice. Now they suspect the new LL won't act on this (if they even know about it). However I have a couple of questions about its validity.

 

1) Does the fact the deposit was protected around 60 days after being received but pre localism act mean that the deposit needs to be returned before the LL can serve a S21?

2)The "prescribed information" they received after it was protected late was simply a receipt from the DPS and a copy of the protection web page, am I right in thinking this invalidates the notice as per the localism act?

3)As the notice contains the Landlords details for the new LL and not the old LTD company LL, and no notices under the LL&T act 1985 have been sent surely this invalidates the S21 too?

 

ultimately the above may not matter as they were looking at leaving anyway and obviously they would need to be taken to court etc which would probably be enough time for them, but they want to be prepared and if it is invalid this would help them greatly as it would ensure at least another 1/2 months.

 

Thanks in advance.

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1) No - late protection should be fine.

2) The prescribed information doesn't have to be in any particular form, although DPS provide a template that can be used. You would probably have to identify which particular bit of information was not provided. I suspect it has all been provided (rent, deposit amount, address of DPS, address of property, name of landlord etc.) as part of the tenancy contract.

3) Don't see why.

 

However, if the LL has changed, then probably you need to check that they have access to the deposit. DPS requires LL to have login details and pin number that are usually personal (as they reference personal information). I don't know how or whether DPS can transfer deposits from one landlord to another.

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You need to check who the LL is as notified to the DPS provider. You should have been officialy notified of the change of LL and what has happened to the deposit.

LL must give two clear months notice with S21 and the dates must be correct with regard to a rent period.

The LL had until 7th May 2012 to protect and inform you of it, they can sue and take them to court or as you say they can return deposit in full now ( old LL ).

Who do they pay rent to, LA or LL,

Deposits can be transfered from one LL to another, by them completing the requisite forms with the Scheme.

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Steve__m:-

I will double check with them over the prescribed information, but from memory its the "receipt page" and print off of the DPS homepage (but I will need to double check with them exactly what is on these)

 

In terms of the LL name on the s21, just curious as to why this would have no effect, otherwise I could effectively send a s21 to half a dozen prospective properties I was considering buying a a BTL LL, make offers and exchange.complete, and use them as a sword of Damocles over the tennats when I bought the property.

raydetinu :-

They have contacted the DPS to see what the current LL name is on the deposit, previously it was the LTD company.

 

The dates on the s21 are correct and ends one day before the rent due. (rent due on 3rd, notice expires on 2nd and rental periods are aligned to the rent due dates in the original contract)

 

They were paying the agency, but since their not 100% sure who the LL is (and if the agency is working for them, agency has got a local reputation for not being particularity straight/trustworthy), they have said to all three parties they will withhold the rent (in a separate bank account) until they get the paperwork. They also requested calcification from all parties about what has happened re deposit protection. No response from anybody despite signing for the letters!

 

 

Many thanks to both of you, It has also become apparent today that their agency is keen to "cancel the notices" and sign them to a new tenancy, with a £300 fee of course!

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