London, United Kingdom (16th April, 2012) – Winkworth, the largest single branded estate agency in London, comments on amendments to the rules covering registration of tenants’ security deposits to which the Housing Act 2004 applies.
As of 6th April 2012, agents and landlords will have up to 30 days to register the deposit with an authorised scheme and to ensure that the tenant is provided with prescribed information relating to the deposit. The changes reverse the anomalies in the original legislation and now mean that a landlord or the agent may still be subject to penalties even where the tenancy has ended after the 6th April 2012, and they failed to register the deposit within the required 30 days.
Courts have been given more discretion in fixing the precise penalty for non-compliance, instead of the amount that was originally set. Also, the original legislation contained a double jeopardy against landlords in that in addition to the financial penalty, they were prevented from serving a Section 21 Notice for repossession. The changes now remove this, but a landlord who has not registered the deposit within 30 days cannot serve the Section 21 Notice unless the deposit has been returned to the tenant.
A spokesperson for Winkworth commented: “Extending the time frame for the registration of the security deposit suggests that Ministers recognised that the original 14 day period was always likely to be difficult to comply with. In addition, removing the anomaly in the original drafting of the regulations provides the Courts with greater clarity in respect of the penalties that will apply for non-compliance.”
For further information, please visit www.winkworthplc.com or www.winkworth.co.uk.
Winkworth is a leading franchisor of residential real estate agencies and is admitted to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange.
Established in Mayfair in 1835, Winkworth has a pre-eminent position in the mid to upper segments of the central London residential sales and lettings markets. Winkworth has in excess of 90 offices, with 60 in London alone.
The franchise model allows entrepreneurial real estate professionals to provide the highest standards of service under the banner of a well-respected brand name and to benefit from the support and promotion that Winkworth offers. Franchisees deliver in depth local knowledge and a highly personalised service to their clients.
M Winkworth Plc
11 Berkeley Street
Zip: W1J 8DS
Tel: 020 7355 0220