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Consultancy Corner - Landlord not agent

Q. We received a phone call from a landlord of a Limited company who had received a defence on a possession claim because the Tenancy Deposit Certificate had not been signed in accordance with Section 44 of the Companies Act 2006.  The landlord had used a Letting agent and the Tenancy Deposit Certificate had been signed by the agent, not the landlord.

A. Paragraph 2(1)(g)(iii) of Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order requires that the document includes ‘the name, address, telephone number, and any email address or fax number of the landlord’ and 2(1)(g)(vii) provides for ‘confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed by the landlord)’.

It would appear correct that the prescribed information must contain the landlords contact details and their signature.  However, the Deregulation Act 2015 amended the Statutory Instrument 2007 No. 797 to allow the Tenancy Deposit Certificate to be signed by the landlord or ‘initial agent’.  

At the time of writing, we have been unable to find any cases that have succeeded in the county courts where agents have signed the Tenancy Deposit Certificate on behalf of the landlord of a Limited company.  It therefore remains a defence to possession proceedings.


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