Government “urgently exploring whether new legislation is required to clarify (the Superstrike) situation.”

Mark Prisk MP suggests that landlords could take precautions and reissue the prescribed information 

You may have read our recent blog and information pages on the implications of the recent Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues tenancy deposit dispute Court of Appeal ruling. If you are not familiar with the case then please click here for more information.

In light of the confusion, concern, and indeed, large sums of money at stake as a result of this ruling, the NLA wrote to Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Housing, calling for clarity on the situation.

On the 30th July we received the following response:Mark Prisk MP suggests that landlords could take precautions and reissue the prescribed information

Mark Prisk MP suggests that landlords could take precautions and reissue the prescribed information

As you will see, Mr Prisk suggests that landlords could take precautions and reissue the prescribed information as a result of the ruling. 

In addition to writing to the minister, be assured that our Policy team are busy briefing MPs from across the political spectrum to ensure they are aware of the need to clarify the law.

To help us continue to keep up this pressure, the industry has collaborated to conduct a short survey to demonstrate how many landlords are affected by this misinterpretation of the law.

Please, if you haven’t already; take two minutes to complete the survey.

2 thoughts on “Government “urgently exploring whether new legislation is required to clarify (the Superstrike) situation.”

  1. We as landlords need to be assured that due to the ruling that we will not be prosecuted by inadvertently breaking the ‘perceived’ law due to the Superstrike case. Briefing MP’s is just an initial response but the law as written in the housing act should be made explicit or that government issues guidelines on the interpretation.

  2. I do not understand how the PI can be re-issued when it is impossible to be certain which date to enter as “date on which the deposit was received in connection with this tenancy”. There are at least two possibilities (1) the date on which it was actually handed to the landlord at the beginning of the AST (the common sense view) or (2) the start date of the Statutory Periodic tenancy (based on the convoluted reasoning in the Superstrike judgement). If option 2 were adopted and Superstrike overruled either on appeal or by future legislation, the PI would be defective. Option 1 would be defective if the Superstrike reasoning were applied. A third possibility/complication arises if the deposit is held by the DPS. As far as I am aware their procedures only allow them to repay the deposit on request from both parties – there is no mechanism whereby they can transfer it to a new tenancy – so the notional discussion between landlord and tenant at the end of the fixed term stretches the imagination even further, having to accommodate the repayment timescales of the DPS and find some way of the tenant paying the deposit to the landlord whilst it is still held by the DPS, otherwise the deposit will not have been paid on or before the commencement of the SP tenancy as required, I assume, by most ASTs. The relevance of this is that the crux of the Superstrike judgement was that the landlord was deemed to have received the deposit at the start of the SPT, which was possible in that case as the landlord was actually in possession of the money and in a position to agree with the tenant that he would continue to hold it instead of repaying it and the tenant immediately handing it back, but would not be possible if the money were held by a third party and not under the control of the landlord.

    I am also concerned that Mr Prisk refers to the tenancy “continuing” as a statutory periodic tenancy when it is a further element of the ratio decidendi in Superstrike that the SPT is a new tenancy – maybe a slip of the pen but it hardly instils confidence that the issues are fully understood by those who are supposedly seeking to resolve them.

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