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Residential Tenancy Deposits - Are you up to date?

Posted by on Friday, May 15, 2015

New rules regarding Tenancy Deposits came into force on 26 March 2015. The new provisions are summarised below.

No need to re-serve the Prescribed Information on renewals

The Prescribed Information now only needs to be served at the commencement of the first letting of a Property by a Landlord to a Tenant. If a fixed term tenancy comes to an end and becomes periodic, or is renewed, the Prescribed Information does not need to be served again. This removes an administrative burden from Landlords.

Deposits taken before 6 April 2007

There are two new provisions affecting deposits taken before 6 April 2007, the date when the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation came into force.

Where a deposit was taken prior to 6 April 2007, and the tenancy became periodic after that date, the deposit must be protected in an authorised scheme. Landlords have until 23 June 2015 to attend to this, if they have not done so already. The deposit will then be treated as having always been protected. Financial penalties will apply if the deposit is not registered by that date and the Landlord will be unable to serve a valid Section 21 Notice to obtain possession of the Property.

Where a deposit was taken prior to 6 April 2007, and the tenancy became periodic before that date, the deposit does not have to be protected. However, if the Landlord wishes to serve a Section 21 Notice, the deposit must be protected or returned to the Tenant.

A greater role for Agents

If a Letting Agent has dealt with protection of the deposit on behalf of the Landlord, the Letting Agent’s own contact details can now be recorded in the Prescribed Information, rather than the Landlord’s.

Summary

We are now in a position where all tenancy deposits need to be registered. There is greater clarity as to when the Prescribed Information needs to be served. Landlords should review their portfolios to make sure that they have complied with the legislation. The consequences of a failure to comply are significant: a Landlord may incur financial penalties and will be unable to serve a valid Section 21 Notice.

Paying for Care and The Care Act 2014

Posted by on Friday, May 01, 2015

The Care Act 2014 introduced big changes in the how care and support and are paid for and funded by local authorities. The changes are coming into force in two parts the first came into force on 1st April 2015 and the second, and for many the most important part, is due to be introduced on 1st April 2016.

The below has been prepared in April 2015 looking forward to the changes expected in the next year. However, with the upcoming General Election in May the Care Act 2014 may be changed or repealed before the remaining parts come into force.

The Current Position: Funding Care

Under the current rules the first £14,250 of assets are disregarded in means testing to pay for care. If you have between £14,250 and £23,250 the Council will subsidise your costs.

The Government says that anyone with over £23,250 of assets would be required to pay all costs of their care. This value excludes the value of property if their partner or close relative lives there.

If the person has less that this limit of assets the Local Authority will undertake detailed financial assessment to work out the contribution which should be made toward Care costs. This is calculated based on how much money you should be left with.

Funded Care is paid for by Personal Budget which is monitored by the Local Authority based on your needs assessment and support planning.

Post April 2016: Funding Care

The lower limit of £14,250 will stay in place and assets under this amount will be disregarded for contributions towards care costs.

The upper limit will change to £27,000 for non-residential care and to £118,500 for residential care. Those will assets between the lower and upper limits will be entitled to some financial support towards their care fees on a sliding scale.


For more information about the proposed changes to Care Fee funding please download our FREE information sheet by clicking on the "Documents" tab at the top of the page.