Potts v Densley and Another: QBD 6 May 2011

The claimant had been a shorthold tenant. The landlord had failed to secure the deposit as required, but offered to repay it after the determination of the tenancy. The claimant now appealed against a refusal of an award of three times the deposit.
Held: The appeal failed. Sharp J said: ‘section 214(4) is mandatory in that once a finding has been made that a deposit has not been secured in accordance with the Act, or that the prescribed information has not been provided (and in either case, the relevant date for that determination is the date of the hearing of the section 214(4) application, as Tiensia has decided) there is no discretion to refuse to make an order for the payment of three times the deposit sum under section 214(4).’
However, though at the time in question, the parties were no longer as such landlord and tenant, other parts of the Act continued that description after the tenancy ended, and ‘ . . a party’s position as ‘the landlord’ or ‘the tenant’ for the purposes of these provisions crystallises when a deposit is paid in connection with shorthold tenancy. Thereafter, ‘the landlord’ (i.e. the person receiving the deposit paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy) continues to be ‘the landlord’ for the purposes of the statute whether the tenancy has been determined or not and remains under a continuing obligation to comply with the initial requirements of the scheme and to provide the prescribed information. Moreover, it remains the case that the landlord will still be subject to sanction if he has not complied with the initial requirements of the scheme or provided the prescribed information by the time of hearing of the section 214(4) application (following Tiensia). I recognise this has the considerable disadvantage that the landlord might then not protect the deposit during the tenancy itself as I have indicated; but at least then he can be pursued thereafter by ‘the tenant’ and subject to sanction in the event he is unable . . to protect the deposit appropriately before the hearing.’
and ‘It therefore follows that subject to the second ground of appeal, the judge’s decision should be upheld on the ground that the Respondents had until the date of the hearing of the Appellant’s section 214(4) application to comply with the provisions of section 213(3); and having secured the deposit before the hearing, albeit after the determination of the tenancy, they had a complete defence to the section 214(4) claim.’

Sharp J
[2011] EWHC 1144 (QB), [2010] 3 All ER 411
The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007, Housing Act 2004 213 214
England and Wales
CitedEnglish v Emery Reimbold and Strick Ltd; etc, (Practice Note) CA 30-Apr-2002
Judge’s Reasons Must Show How Reached
In each case appeals were made, following Flannery, complaining of a lack of reasons given by the judge for his decision.
Held: Human Rights jurisprudence required judges to put parties into a position where they could understand how the . .
CitedDraycott and Another v Hannells Letting Ltd (T/A Hannells Letting Agents) QBD 12-Feb-2010
The landlord’s agent did not place the tenant’s deposit with an authorised scheme or provide the appropriate notice within the 14 days required by the 2004 Act. T sought a penalty after it had been deposited. L said that the deposit penalty could no . .
CitedTiensia v Vision Enterprises Ltd (T/A Universal Estates) CA 11-Nov-2010
The court was asked whether, where a landlord had failed to comply with the requirement to place a deposit received with a tenancy deposit scheme within fourteen days, the tenant was entitled to the penalties imposed by the Act despite later . .

Cited by:
ApprovedSuurpere v Nice and Another QBD 27-Jul-2011
The tenant appealed against refusal of her claim for damages under sections 213 and 214 of the 2004 Act, saying that the notice as to the protection of her deposit had been inadequate on the grant of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to her.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Landlord and Tenant, Housing

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.434900