Ayannuga v Swindells (2012) CA (Civ) 6
Below is a news item summary of the case at the time. See the link above for analysis of this case.
There has been a couple of reports about this very important tenancy deposit scheme case (most notably see the nearlylegal blog here) that has recently been heard in the Court of Appeal.
The facts seem fairly straightforward although I haven’t seen a transcript yet and when I do, I will write a much more detailed article. The tenant had paid a deposit to the landlord which had been perfectly protected with one of the approved tenancy deposit schemes. However, the landlord had not given the tenant all of the prescribed information. This was accepted by the landlord.
The landlord asserted that the tenant had fallen into arrears and so commenced possession proceedings. The tenant counter-claimed on the basis of the landlords failure to comply with the prescribed information requirements of the Housing Act 2004 which are to be found in The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007.
It seems the landlords primary argument was that the prescribed information didn’t really matter and was only a procedural requirement. The landlord seems to have argued that as long as the deposit had been protected that should be all that matters. After all, the tenant can locate all the information contained in the order by going to the scheme.
The lower court agreed with the landlord at first instance but the tenant appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The CA held that the prescribed information requirement was not merely a minor procedural one and that the issuing of the information was of great importance. The Court of Appeal confirmed the previous High Court case Suurpere v Nice & Anor  EWHC 2003 (QB) and the landlord was ordered to pay three times deposit (plus presumably return of the deposit itself).
This further clarifies what we have been preaching since the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes in 2007. It’s not the protecting side thats the problem. That’s easy! It’s getting the prescribed information element correct.
As I always say to get you to go and check whether you are giving the correct information or not, check how many pages of prescribed information you are giving. If you are giving less than 10 pages to your tenant(s) (and relevant person) then your probably doing it wrong! That’s not to say it’s impossible to compress the information into less than 10 pages because it certainly is possible but it’s very difficult. Therefore go away after reading this article and check what prescribed information you are giving and check every single little item from the prescribed information order is within the bundle.
An easy way is to simply use our tenancy agreements as they have the prescribed information (all 10 pages of it) built in ready to go after completion.