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27 September 2012
As thousands of students prepare for university life in Kent this autumn, landlords offering them accommodation are warned to avoid potential legal pitfalls under the new Localism Act.
The Act applies to tenancy agreements for students as well as accommodation in all other sectors. One of the principal implications for landlords is that it changes the timescale and process under which a tenant can be evicted, imposing a 30-day rule for deposits to be returned or legal action taken.
Leading regional law firm Furley Page is offering advice to landlords who might be struggling to understand the wide-ranging changes introduced by this new legislation, promising there are ways through the legal maze.
Legal assistant Sarah Woolnough, who specialises in residential landlord and tenant disputes at Furley Page, says: “In a heavily rented market, landlords should be aware of the new provisions and ignore them at their peril.
“It is always advisable for a landlord to take a deposit from a tenant. It is protection for the landlord for repairs, unpaid bills and unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy.”
The new Act imposes a responsibility on landlords to protect any deposit taken from a tenant for 30 days – more than doubling the previous limit of 14 days – and to provide tenants with information about the agreement within 30 days of receipt. If a landlord fails to comply, restrictions are imposed on the landlord’s ability to recover possession.
Landlords who are concerned about the new legislation are advised to seek expert legal advice. Contact Sarah Woolnough on 01227 763939.