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As a landlord, it’s important that you’re aware of the new deposit protection rules that are coming into play shortly. Despite the majority already adhering to these rules, landlords officially have until June 23rd to register with one of the Government’s three deposit schemes or risk paying unlimited fines. Fines will be calculated at three times the initial deposit taken – usually £3,600 – and will hit landlords who neglect to put tenants’ deposits into an official scheme before the deadline. All tenancy deposits paid by an assured shorthold tenant are required by law to be protected by a landlord in a government-supported scheme. Assured shorthold tenancy agreements apply to most buy-to-let investments, with the exception of student halls of residence or in the case of a lodger renting a room in the same house as the landlord. The three government-backed schemes are the Deposit Protection Service, My|Deposits and theTenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), with costs ranging between £0 and £24 per deposit. The paid for schemes (TDS and My|Deposits) allow you to keep the money during the tenancy – in order to enable you to earn interest on it. The Deposit Protection Service, which costs nothing, will hold the money until it is returned to the tenant, minus any deductions. In 2007 deposit protection was implemented as a compulsory scheme to make it easier to resolve landlord/tenant disagreements at the end of tenancies. Originally, when it was first introduced, it wasn’t obvious if landlords with existing tenants would also need to register. However, a court has since decided that all tenants (including those who moved in before 6 April 2007) should have their deposits protected. This is where landlords who have had the same tenants for several years get caught out. They think they are exempt from the rules, or are unaware that they even exist, when in fact the opposite is true. Landlords should also be aware that they must still use a tenancy deposit protection scheme even if a tenants’ deposit has come from a third party e.g. parents paying for their children’s accommodation while at university. At ChimneyPots we provide a comprehensive property management service to take the stress and pressure away from being a landlord. So, whether you have one property or a large, countrywide portfolio, we’ll offer a management service that is both personalised and highly professional. We have also compiled a FAQ’s for Landlords section, which answers questions on everything from Assured Shorthold Tenancy to what a good inventory/schedule of condition looks like. We operate in bigger cities such as Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth, as well as smaller areas like Sholing, Woolston, Itchen, Weston, Thornhill, Harefield and Townhill Park. If you would like more advice and guidance on renting your property please contact us on: 0844 809 993. We also provide an instant online valuation to give you an accurate reflection of your property’s rental value in the current market. http://ow.ly/N5CKs

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