The DCLG have decided the final version of their FAQs regarding the Housing Act 1988 rent increase threshold to be placed on their website. We have seen an advance copy and are pleased to note that some changes have been made as a result of representations made to the DCLG by this firm, among others.
Most notably the DCLG has now resiled from their earlier position that all tenancy deposits for tenancies that have converted to ASTs must immediately be protected on 1 October. This is a view that we have previously criticised. The DCLG have listened on this point and the FAQ now states:
We do not consider that deposits taken before 1 October will need to be protected as these were not taken in connection with a shorthold tenancy and therefore do not meet the criteria for protection specified in the Housing Act 2004.
However, agents and landlords should be aware that this is a matter for the Courts to decide and it would be wise to protect deposits on 1 October and certainly on any renewal of the tenancy.
DCLG has, however, maintained their position that a section 21 notice issued in respect of a tenancy which becomes an AST on 1 October cannot expire until 6 months after that date, ie. not before 1 April 2011. This is a view that we do not agree with and have previously criticised. We are pleased to note that the DCLG has watered this position down in the light of our representations and now says that it will be for the Courts to make a final decision on this issue. Doubtless such a case will appear in the Courts in short order.
You can view all of our blog posts on the Housing Act 1988 rent threshold increase by following this link.