Superstrike returns

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Steve Harriott, CEO   We said that there was a danger that judges might start to interpret the Superstrike Judgment in relation to statutory periodic tenancies to imply that Prescribed Information needed to be re-issued when a statutory period tenancy was created.  Well it has happened.

In a case in the Birmingham County Court (Gardner v McCusker 3BM70525) the District Judge has issued financial penalties against a landlord for not issuing the Prescribed Information in this situation.  The Court quashed the s21 Order and also ordered the landlord to:

  • return the deposit in full;
  • pay a fine of 2 times the deposit;
  • pay the costs.

The facts seem to be this.

A deposit of £600 was taken and protected with MyDeposits on an AST of 6 months.  This tenancy expired in May 2010 and a statutory period tenancy came into force.  In March 2013 a s21 notice was issued by the landlord and when possession proceedings were started the tenant issued a counterclaim, arguing that no prescribed information had been served when the statutory period tenancy arose.  The landlord sought to rely on the original prescribed information but this was rejected by the Court.
Although this case is not binding on other courts it does show that Judges may well do what some feared and apply the Superstrike Judgment to require Prescribed Information to be re-issued when a statutory periodic tenancy arises.

What is the lesson here? 

If you are going to issue a s21 notice be aware that if you have not served new Prescribed Information when the tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy then you may find judges throwing out the s21 application and also fining you for not complying with the law.

What next?

We are stil pressing the Government to introduce amendments to the 2004 Housing Act to rectify the position caused by the Superstrike judgement.  Let’s hope that they can find some time in their busy programme to fit it in soon.

Steve Harriott
Chief Executive
With thanks to the Nearly Legal blog for providing the detail of this case.

 


Posted by Steve Harriott, CEO on 13 May 2014

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