The AST threshold will increase to include all tenancies with annual rent of up to £100,000. Currently, only tenancies below £25,000 a year are classified as such.
The increase will give tenants paying higher rent the benefit of Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), while landlords will be able to use “off-the-shelf” tenancy agreements.
Landlords who have taken a deposit for a property after 6th April 2007 with annual rent up to £100,000 are advised to protect the deposit with one of three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes.
Deposits taken before 6th April 2007 do not have to be protected unless the tenancy agreement has been renewed. Letting agents will also need to notify their clients of the need to protect deposits.
Landlords who fail to protect a deposit taken after this date will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice on a tenant to begin possession proceedings when the property becomes an AST. They may also be ordered to pay the tenant three times the deposit amount as a penalty.
Disputes over the return of a deposit can be heard and determined by the TDP scheme where it is protected, instead of through the county court.
For further information on tenancy agreements call Mark Sadler at kenneth elliott + rowe solicitors 01708 757575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org