Invalid Section 21

In a case brought to our attention recently, the courts found that a landlord’s Section 21 notice was invalid because he had protected the notice and served the prescribed information in respect of the deposit too early.

Facts

The deposit was provided by a local council on behalf of a tenant. Prior to handing over the deposit, the Council insisted that the landlord provide evidence that he show them the deposit certificate and provide evidence that he had served the prescribed information. Consequently, the landlord protected the ‘deposit’ and said he had given the tenant the prescribed information prior to ever actually receiving the deposit from the local council.

Having protected the deposit and given the prescribed information before the landlord had received the actual deposit meant the he had fallen foul of S.215(1A) and (2) and could not give the tenant a valid section 21 notice.

Decision

The court held that the wording of s.213(3) and (5) meant that parliament had intended that the deposit should be protected, and the prescribed information given to the tenant after the deposit is actually received. Providing the certificate and the prescribed information before the deposit was received by the landlord was not ‘within 30 days beginning on the date’ the deposit was received.

Comment

This is a county court judgement, so not binding on any other courts. However, it could influence other county court judges and as such landlords and agents should consider the ramifications of this case prior to complying with any council requests.

We would like to thank NearlyLegal for bringing this case to our attention.

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