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Letting Property? – You really need to read this..

TDS section 213 prescribed information


One of the less well known aspects of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) legislation is that not only does it require the landlord to protect the tenant’s deposit under an approved scheme.

Landlords also need to provide certain prescribed information to the tenant explaining how the tenant's deposit has been protected.
 
This information has also to be given to any third party / interested party (i.e. someone who has paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant whether in whole or part).  For example, a parent who pays the deposit on behalf of a student tenant.

What information do I need to provide?


The Government sets out within Statutory Instrument 797 of 2007 the information that the landlord is required to provide. 

In summary of 213 prescribed informationit is as follows:

The details of the scheme administrator e.g. The Deposit Protection Service
Any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme which explains how it operates
The procedures in relation to holding and repaying the deposit and the resolution of any dispute
Amount of deposit paid
The address of the property to which the tenancy relates
The landlords details
The tenants details
Third party details if appropriate
The circumstances when all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the terms of the tenancy

What happens if I don’t provide the prescribed information?


The answer is simple.  If you fail to provide this information within 14 days of taking the deposit then the same legal penalties apply to you as if you had not protected the deposit itself.  Failure to provide the prescribed information means that you are potentially liable as Landlord to a penalty of 3 times of the amount of deposit and in the meantime no valid section 21 notice to obtain possession can be served.  I have already witnessed ‘chatrooms’ where unscrupulous tenants are planning to use this bit of legislation to exploit uninformed landlords by either making a quick buck or using the threat to bargain their way out of a difficult corner.

The message is clear.  Just like ensuring that you need to use one of the approved schemes in taking tenants deposits you also need to provide your tenants with this prescribed information.


CONFUSED?


Are you unsure about what information you need to provide and in what form?

There is no need to be.  Property Hawk has provided a new set of downloadable section 213 prescribed information forms.  Just like our FREE tenancy agreement these forms will automatically populate with the information you have already entered when signing up and creating a tenancy.  This means you avoid all the additional work of duplicate entry.  The forms are already there to be generated and printed off using Property Hawk’s Property Manager.

How to get them?

The process couldn’t be simpler.  Once logged in go to the Property Manager. 

Firstly, add a property and then attach a tenancy to the property, which is done within the Tenancy tab .

Then go to the Forms tab.  For those familiar with downloading a tenancy agreement then the process is very similar. 

Select the relevant form depending on whether you are protecting the deposit through the custodial scheme run by The Deposit Protection Service or insuring your deposits using Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd
In both cases as well as downloading the prescribed information you will also need to download and attach the additional information.  This should be attached to the prescribed information to make a complete copy. We advise you to print off at least two copies of the documents, one for you and one for the tenant; both copies need to be signed by all parties concerned.

We always advise where possible that you to give the tenant the prescribed information at the same time that you get them to sign the tenancy agreement and inventory.  This way all the forms are filled out and served and you can forget about the paper work for a little while at least.


For more details of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
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