Clause 19 - Tenancy deposit requirements

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:25 am ar 28 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 9:25, 28 Tachwedd 2023

It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair again, Mr Gray. I thank the hon. Gentleman for tabling amendments 170 to 172, which seek to change the requirement that landlords must comply with the deposit protection rules before a court can order possession. The amendments would require landlords to comply with the deposit protection rules both before serving a tenant with notice and at the time of the possession hearing. If those conditions are not met, courts could not make a possession order.

The Bill already protects tenants from landlords who are not complying with existing tenancy deposit rules, because clause 19 requires landlords to comply with deposit protection rules before a court may make an order for possession. That will impact only on those landlords who are not complying with existing tenancy deposit rules. If the landlord has stored the deposit correctly in one of the prescribed schemes and has complied with all the applicable rules, the measures in the clause will not hinder or delay the possession process. Landlords will also be able to rectify the problem before the case reaches the court, ensuring that those provisions will not trip them up if they have made an honest mistake. Because we recognise that some possession cases are too critical to delay, that will not apply to the grounds relating to antisocial behaviour.

The aim of our measures in clause 19 is therefore not to prevent or frustrate possession, but to ensure that tenancy deposits are protected for the benefit of the tenant. The hon. Member’s amendments would simply act as another administrative trap that good-faith landlords could fall into. The Bill already ensures that deposits will be protected, while giving landlords sufficient time to comply with the rules before the case reaches the court. I therefore ask the hon. Member to withdraw his amendment.