Deposit Protection Service - Tenant Transfer Option has been Removed.
For those that use the DPS scheme for protecting deposits, please be aware that the DPS have removed the Tenant Transfer Option.
I think this is prudent move by the DPS as this forces an agent or landlord to treat any change of joint tenant (the main reason the tenant transfer option was used) as a brand new tenancy thus encouraging new compliance.
The email from the DPS is copied below in italics and underlined:
“We can confirm that we have removed the option to action a Tenant Transfer.
In future, whenever a tenant leaves or joins a tenancy, the repayment process must be completed in order for the existing deposit to be released and resubmitted under the new details. We do not recommend that any payment is made outside of our scheme.
You will first need to request that the deposit is returned to you. To do this, please log in to your DPS account using your email address and password at www.depositprotection.com. You will need to select 'View Tenancies' and locate the relevant deposit. You can make a claim on the deposit by selecting 'Manage tenancy' and then 'Make a claim against the deposit'.
If the listed tenant responds and agrees to the release of the deposit, you can then resubmit the deposit details under the new/correct tenant.
In the event that the listed tenant does not respond within 14 calendar days, please arrange to send a copy of the original signed tenancy agreement along with the following documents/information:
• A signed letter confirming that you have not been able to contact the listed tenant, including details of any forwarding address or last known contact details of the tenant
• Proof that the listed tenant has received payment outside of the DPS (copy of cleared cheque/bank transfer advice slip/bank statement highlighting the relevant transaction(s) made)
• Confirmation of the proposed new tenant including contact email address and/or UK mobile telephone number
Once we have this information, we will consider your request and make the necessary amendments where appropriate. However, it is important to note that each case is considered on its own merit and therefore, we cannot guarantee that your request will be approved.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
If you have any further enquiries, please visit our website at www.depositprotection.com.”
What should we do if changing one or some of the joint tenants?
To be honest, I have been saying this is a massive risk for numerous agents/landlords for a while, so it’s good to see a deposit scheme removing this risk from their system.
My advice has always been treating it as a brand-new tenancy. You move them ALL out for deposit protection purposes, deal with any deposit deductions, and then get the remaining deposit returned to you as the landlord or agent. You can then request the deposit to be topped up if necessary. You then move the tenants back in under a new tenancy deposit protection registration and supply the tenants with prescribed information. Obviously, as some of the tenants have not physically move out, you can update the inventory if possible or use the original inventory for them to re sign with the date being the start of the new tenancy.
Also, don’t forget to issue them with all the other compliance requirements, such as the EPC, GSR, EICR (from the 1st July 2020) HTR guide, Legionella and Fire Risk Assessment, electrical appliance manuals, building insurance and leasehold clauses (if relevant) and new tenancy agreements. That ladies and gentlemen is why a change of joint tenant is in law deemed as surrender i.e. ending one tenancy and starting a new one. This also applies if one joint tenant serves notice and leaves and you accept the remaining tenant as the sole tenant.