We have already reported on the case Ayannuga v Swindells (2012) CA (Civ) 6 and in that article we promised to go slightly more in-depth with the case when we got a moment. As it turns out the summary was pretty close so we haven’t felt the need to rush this through.
It is worthy of note that this case was decided under the previous version of the rules before the changes made by the Localism Act 2011 took effect but this decision still applies because it applies to the information which must be provided to a tenant by the landlord (the prescribed information).
On 6 September 2010, the landlord let a property to the tenant on an assured shorthold tenancy for a 12 month term. The rent being £950.00 per calendar month and a deposit of £950.00 was paid by the tenant. The deposit was protected by the Deposit Protection Service custodial scheme.
After issuing a section 8 notice, the landlord commenced possession proceedings in the county court on the basis of rent arrears under grounds 8, 10 and 11. The tenant defended and counterclaimed on a number of items which included seeking a sum equal to three times the amount of deposit, namely £2,850 plus return of the deposit for a failure to provide the prescribed information as required by Section 213(5) Housing Act 2004. The actual information which must be provided is that contained in The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007
In the landlords reply and defence to the counterclaim, the landlord denied the breach of the prescribed information order pointing to the information contained in the tenancy agreement and in a letter he gave the tenant dated 8 September 2010.
The first hearing
The trial considering possession and the counterclaim commenced on 13 March 2012 and took 3 days. On 15 March 2012, immediately after the lunch adjournment and just before the Deputy District Judge gave his judgment, the landlord provided to the tenant a handwritten document giving additional information about the deposit (“the Additional Information Document”).
The Deputy District Judge held that:
… the lease coupled with this additional document gives the information substantially to the same effect and on that basis in my judgment the claimant has complied with his obligations.
The tenant appealed.