Three tenants who paid a deposit of £1,300 to a landlord received two deposit protection penalties against their former landlord and letting agent at trial today.
The three tenants were awarded penalties of 2.3x their deposit under s.214(4) of the Housing Act 2004 for each of their two tenancies. The landlord and his agent had tried to argue that the tenants agreed that their deposit did not need to be protected in accordance with the legal requirements surrounding deposits. The judge dismissed these arguments stating that the legislation does not allow landlords and tenants to contract out of the deposit protection legislation. The judge, exercising discretion, awarded deposit protection penalties for each of their two tenancies for 2.3x the deposit for each tenancy totalling £5,980 plus costs.
Represent Law acting for the successful tenants states that this is an emphatic indication from the court that landlords cannot force tenants to allow them to fail to protect their deposits in accordance with the law.