The Prescribed Information is a set of information that landlords are legally required to provide to their tenants, as well as anyone who has paid a tenancy deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy. The Housing Act 2004 outlines the two main requirements that landlords must meet when taking a tenancy deposit:
- Secure the tenancy deposit with a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme within days of the tenancy deposit being paid, and
- Provide the prescribed information to the tenant and any other person that may have paid the tenancy deposit within 30 days of the tenancy deposit having been paid.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide the Prescribed Information, and many choose to do so through a letting agent. The Prescribed Information is particularly important for landlords who may need to serve a Section 21 Notice, as compliance with the tenancy deposit scheme requirements is necessary for the Notice to be valid.
The specific content of the Prescribed Information is laid out in The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007.
The Content of the Prescribed Information
This Order sets out that the prescribed information must contain the following:
- the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and any fax number of the scheme administrator of the authorised tenancy deposit scheme applying to the deposit;
- any information contained in a leaflet supplied by the scheme administrator to the landlord which explains the operation of the provisions contained in sections 212 to 215 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Act;
- the procedures that apply under the scheme by which an amount in respect of a deposit may be paid or repaid to the tenant at the end of the shorthold tenancy (“the tenancy”);
- the procedures that apply under the scheme where either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy;
- the procedures that apply under the scheme where the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount to be paid or repaid to the tenant in respect of the deposit;
- the facilities available under the scheme for enabling a dispute relating to the deposit to be resolved without recourse to litigation; and
- the following information in connection with the tenancy in respect of which the deposit has been paid—
- the amount of the deposit paid;
- the address of the property to which the tenancy relates;
- the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the landlord
- the name, address, telephone number, and any e-mail address or fax number of the tenant, including such details that should be used by the landlord or scheme administrator for the purpose of contacting the tenant at the end of the tenancy;
- the name, address, telephone number and any e-mail address or fax number of any relevant person;
- the circumstances when all or part of the deposit may be retained by the landlord, by reference to the terms of the tenancy; and
- confirmation (in the form of a certificate signed by the landlord) that:
- the information he provides under this sub-paragraph is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief; and
- he has given the tenant the opportunity to sign any document containing the information provided by the landlord under this article by way of confirmation that the information is accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief.
f the landlord fails to provide the prescribed information to the tenant and any third party who paid the tenancy deposit within 30 days of the deposit being paid, they cannot serve a section 21 notice. The landlord’s only option in this scenario is to return the tenancy deposit to the tenant or third party.
Alternatively, both the landlord and tenant can agree in writing to use the deposit towards any outstanding rent or the next rent payment due, with any remaining balance being returned. Failing to provide the prescribed information can result in the tenant claiming 1-3 times the value of the deposit from the landlord. The tenant can make such a claim to the County Court under s.214 of the Housing Act 2004.