Here is a question to the blog clinic from Andrew (not his real name) who is a tenant:
I am a tenant and have been served with a section 21 notice to leave the property.
Our deposit was never secured in a tenancy deposit scheme, which I’ve known about for a while. I have never requested our deposit be placed in a TDS or returned through fear of retaliation and eviction. We have now lived here for over ten years.
Have we missed our opportunity to demand the deposit is returned and seek compensation (not that we’re looking to do this), or do we have a claim as we’ve lived here using the same agreement during this time?
If your landlord has failed to protect the deposit then:
- Your landlord cannot serve a valid section 21 notice until the deposit money has been returned to you, but
- You have almost certainly lost your chance to claim the penalty
Dealing with the last item first, which is the main basis of your question, your claim will probably be ‘statute barred’ by now.
Claims need to be brought within a certain period of time, under the Limitation Act 1980. The time period for a claim for the deposit penalty is six years. So your time to bring a claim for the penalty ran out four years ago – sorry.
However, the section 21 notice served by your landlord is invalid as the deposit has not been protected. So you have a valid defence to any claim he may bring based upon it.
The only way your landlord can serve a valid section 21 notice is to refund the whole of your deposit payment to you first.