Here is a question to the blog clinic from Brenda who is a tenant. Note that the question was asked in early April 2014.
I’m a tenant on a periodic AST. Key dates are:
- January 2007: Start of tenancy. No deposit regulations so no deposit protection needed.
- January 2008: Tenancy renewed. Deposit protected. Prescribed information not served.
- July 2008: Tenancy went periodic. Nothing done to deposit. Still no prescribed information.
- 5th May 2012: New legislation means that landlords must comply with all tenancy deposit protection requirements by 5th May 2012. Nothing done to the deposit and still no prescribed information.
- January 2014: Section 21 notice served with correct dates.
- April 2014: Possession claim received from the county court.
My questions are:
- Is the Section 21 notice invalid due to no prescribed information given despite the tenancy being so old?
- Do I have any claim for failure to give the prescribed information or is that now all too long ago (renewal more than six years ago, periodic tenancy started less than six years ago).
- Does failure to comply with the 5th May 2012 deadline introduced by the new legalisation then give me a more recent cause of action?
- If I have any claim for failure to comply with the deposit regulations can I put it into a counter claim to my defence of the possession claim? If so can you point me to which form I’d need.
Background: The section 21 was served as the landlord wishes to sell, there are no rent arrears and all quarterly inspections have been passed fine. I really need a few more weeks to move than the landlord will allow.
Here are the answers to your question:
1. Yes. A section 21 cannot be valid if the prescribed information has not been served. It does not somehow become valid, just because the prescribed information should have been served a long time ago.
2. If you want to claim for the penalty you can. It is not too late.
3. I don’t think so. This was just a last opportunity given to the landlord to rectify matters. But if I am wrong no doubt someone will correct me.
4. The defence form form served with the accelerated possession proceedings does not have any space for a counterclaim. If you want to counterclaim therefore you will need to serve a separate form. You could perhaps use form N90 and either cross out the bit relating to the defence, or put ‘see separate form N118’. Or draft up your own form, making sure it has all the elements of the counterclaim part of N90.
Have any readers brought a claim for the deposit penalty as a counterclaim to accelerated proceedings? If so what form did you use?