Tenant’s Application for Judicial Review

The High Court has refused an application by a tenant for judicial review following refusal by the County Court to grant permission.

The tenant (T) had initially argued before the district judge that the landlord (L) could not rely on a notice it had served pursuant to section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (section 21 notice) because it had been served at a time when T’s deposit was not held in accordance with a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS), and the prescribed information had not been provided to T. The district judge had dismissed T’s argument.

The High Court held obiter that L’s section 21 notice was effective even though it was served before T’s deposit was protected in a TDS. The court considered that:

– L was obliged to protect the deposit in a TDS, and provide the prescribed information, within 30 days of receipt of the deposit (section 213 of the Housing Act 2004 (HA 2004)).

– The sanctions under sections 214 (fine) and 215 (inability to serve section 21 notice) of the HA 2004 only applied if L failed to comply within the requisite 30 day period.

– L had complied within 30 days. L’s section 21 notice was therefore effective even though it was served before the deposit was protected in the TDS.

It is useful to note the court’s comments, although obiter, as to when sanctions for non-compliance with the TDS legislation are triggered. It will be interesting to see whether this decision is applied in future cases.

R (Tummond) v Reading County Court and Anor [2014] EWHC 1039 (10 April 2014).