Property clinic: Where do I put my tenant’s deposit?

tenantriskverification November 28, 2012 0


I have just become a landlord, but do not know anything about looking after my tenant’s deposit. Can I just put it in my bank account?

Terry, Dorset

Legal advice on becoming a landlord is essential. Landlords need to place any deposit received at the start of a tenancy period into a Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. You must do this immediately and provide your tenant with details on where the deposit has been placed. Failing to do this could make you liable to pay damages up to three times the amount of the deposit.




I have just bought a house and have found out that a supermarket is going to be built behind my property. This was not mentioned by the seller or our solicitor during the buying process. Can we take action against either of them?

Jenny, Tyneside

Potentially yes. It depends on the responses given by the seller when asked in a document known as a “Seller’s Property Information Form”. If the seller failed to answer the appropriate question honestly, or simply failed to answer at all, then you may have a claim for misrepresentation. If successful, you might be able to rescind the contract. But this is unusual and it is more likely that you could claim for damages.

The same applies for a claim against your solicitor. Typically, they are under a duty to carry out appropriate searches to protect their client’s position and discover if anything adverse affects the property. If they failed to do these searches or carried them out, but failed to report the results, then they may have breached their duty.

My husband and I have lived in Spain for many years and are now divorcing. Shall we divorce following the Spanish law? If so, is it very different?

Hayley, Madrid

If you are both British and based in Spain on a permanent basis, the applicable legislation for a divorce in Spain would be the English law. This is regardless of the country where you were married. The only difference between divorcing in Spain or in UK is the proceedings. When a British couple get divorced in Spain, the trial will be processed following Spanish procedural rules. But English law will be applicable as the consequences will be the same as if you and your husband got divorced in England.

Remember to file a Certificate of British Marital Law signed by an expert in British law. Co-ordinating actions between a British lawyer and a Spanish lawyer is a key as mistakes can arise. If there are mistakes, Spanish legislation will be applied not only in proceedings, but also in the divorce itself. This can have negative implications for the British spouses seeking divorce. You should contact a specialised family lawyer both in the UK and in Spain.

Send your property problems to Property Clinic, The Daily Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT email [email protected]

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This article originally appeared on telegraph

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