The changes to the Localism Act that come into force today, Friday 6th of April, give landlords 30 days to protect their tenants deposits up from the previous 14 days. The changes apply in England and Wales.
Landlords must also ensure they give their tenants the required Prescribed Information and Deposit Protection Certificate as proof it is protected within this 30 day period.
If landlords fail to follow this rule, they could be taken to court and fined between one and three times the deposit amount and will be unable to apply for a possession order with a Section 21 notice until the matter is resolved.
Equally important is to ensure you have a thorough and independently compiled inventory that provides the strongest evidence in case a dispute arises. The small cost of obtaining such an inventory will be easily recouped at the end of the tenancy by ensuring tenants know the condition in which the property has to be returned.