Business Premises: Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Labour, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will consider implementing an obligatory tenancy deposit scheme for commercial premises with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to ensure that small and medium enterprises which put down deposits in order to secure business premises have their deposits protected.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The terms on whether and how a deposit will be paid by the tenants of a commercial property, and how they will be retained, should be included within the commercial lease agreement agreed by both the landlord and the tenant. It is considered to be best practice to include a rent deposit deed, which is a document that sets how a landlord secures a commercial tenant's deposit.

Under the tenancy deposit protection legislation introduced in the Housing Act 2004, all landlords letting on residential assured shorthold tenancies are required to protect their tenants' deposits in a government-approved scheme within 30 days of taking the deposit. The landlord must also serve the tenant with certain prescribed information within the same thirty-day period. We do not currently have any plans to require the use of a tenancy deposit scheme for commercial tenancies.

Since 1 October 2014, it has been a legal requirement for lettings agents and property managers in England to join one of two government-approved redress schemes: the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme. The letting agent or property manager should arbitrate any disputes between the landlord or tenant in the first instance. Should the letting agents or property managers be unable to arbitrate the dispute, then a complaint can be made to the redress scheme.

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