Evictions stalled by the small print

Evictions stalled by the small print.

Imagine you’re a landlord who’s waited weeks for the courts to get around to dealing with a Section 21 notice. It won’t be long now until you can regain control of your property. Things are looking up. But then, the judge dismisses the case. There’s a gap in the paperwork relating to the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS).

This is more than a hypothetical situation. Judges are throwing out eviction cases where the tenant has not been given terms and conditions relating to the DPS. While the deposit scheme operators make it clear that the landlord must provide the tenant with the Prescribed Information, it’s less clear that separate T&Cs for the DPS are also necessary.

It’s one of those small details that are easy to miss but which could have huge consequences. Best practice is to go belt and braces on this. Provide the tenant with copies in both electronic and hard copy formats. Get tenants to sign to say they’ve received them. Keep records of what you’ve done and when you’ve done it. Yes, it’s another bit of paperwork the tenant may never read, but it’s not optional and you should build it into your process.

If you have missed out on this requirement and your Section 21 notice is about to be heard, you may get lucky. The judge may use some discretion if everything else is squeaky clean, but wouldn’t it be better not to risk it?

Contact our Professional Services team if you need advice.