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Government Amendments to Housing Act 2004 to Clarify Tenancy Deposit Rules

In the wake of the fall-out from the Superstrike case, the government has finally made some amendments to the Housing Act in order to clear up landlord confusion about what happens to tenant’s deposits when a fixed term tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy agreement. Since the judgement from the Superstrike case first shook things up, landlords have been advised to re-serve prescribed information. Now this task will no longer be necessary.

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The Superstrike Ltd v Rodrigues EWCA Civ 669 Case Ruling In this landmark case, a fixed term tenancy expired, but the tenant remained in the property and a periodic tenancy commenced. The original tenancy started prior to the Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) came into effect and so the deposit wasn’t protected. However, the case ruling stated that the landlord should have protected the deposit at the beginning of the periodic tenancy. As he had not done this, the Section 21 notice he served was invalid and he couldn’t remove the tenant from the property.

Gardner v McCusker The Superstrike ruling was reinforced in Gardner v McCusker 3BM70525. In this case the County Court ruled that as the ‘prescribed information’ had not been re-served when a post tenancy deposit protection fixed term tenancy ended, the Section 21 notice was invalid, despite the fact that the deposit was still protected.

The new amendment to the Deregulation Bill should receive Royal Assent this summer. But for now the RLA is reminding landlords that prescribed information should continue to be served to tenants when a fixed term tenancy agreement becomes a periodic one.


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