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Superstrike V Rodrigues


The recent ruling in the above case, has sent the Lettings world into panic. Why did it do this? click on the header to read update.

Latest court ruling put landlords
into panic

On the 14th June 2013 the Lord Justice Lloyd
handled the appeal on the Superstrike v Rodriguez case. The outcome of this
appeal has put the lettings world in turmoil for private landlords and letting
agents,  as well as all the Deposit
Schemes who are still seeking legal advice. Online property forums are in full
discussion as well as landlord governing bodies.

This particular case is because a tenant entered an
Assured Shorthold Tenancy(AST) prior to April 2007, which meant the deposit did
not have to be protected. The tenancy was for twelve months and expired in
January 2008, it then proceeded into a statutory periodic tenancy(SPT).  Now up to this point, this has been the
procedure we have all been advised to do, the rules stated that only when you
entered a new AST did you need to protect the deposit.

The case however, brings up rightly that when a tenancy
is allowed to go into a SPT this is deemed as a new distinct tenancy and not a
continuation and therefore the deposit should have been protected. And, because
of this when the landlords took the tenants to court on a Section 21 notice,
the court refused to recognise it.

The majority of landlords will have tenants in AST’s that
started after April 2007, but if you have a tenant prior to this date and
thought there was no need to protect, then my advice is to protect it now, as
it would show your good intentions.

However, the dilemma now falls with periodic tenancies
now being classed as new distinct tenancies and this is where problems may
arise and why the deposit schemes are seeking legal advice because their own
website clearly say you do not need to protect a deposit again if in a monthly
rollover. And if each new month is a new distinct tenancy are we to renew
monthly? What about guarantors who were on the original tenancy, do they not

This is likely to go to the Supreme Court, so you can
watch this space or put your tenants in a new tenancy and be covered.

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