Registering residential tenancy deposits

Many private residential landlords, particularly those with large tenant portfolios, will be concerned by a recent County Court decision. The court held that, even if the tenancy deposit had been protected at the outset of the fixed term of the assured shorthold tenancy (AST), the registration requirements must be followed when a statutory tenancy arose at the end of the fixed term.

The decision effectively increases the burden on residential landlords to ensure they comply properly with registration requirements both at the outset of an AST and after the fixed term expires if the tenant remains in occupation. A failure to do so will risk delays in recovering possession of residential properties and a potential liability to pay compensation to existing tenants. Landlords should therefore monitor their tenancy portfolios carefully to ensure that registration requirements are complied with fully both at the start of a fixed term AST and, crucially, at the end as well.