Man in a suit signing a form in an office. Landlord Statutory Declaration. A guide from SAM Conveyancing on how to file a statutory declaration form
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Landlord Statutory Declaration

26/08/2022
(Last Updated: 26/08/2022)
419
3 min read
Landlords can no longer make deductions from their tenants’ deposits without having a legal justification. The Tenancy Protection Scheme has been introduced to put a stop to the unfair deductions done on rental deposits.

As a result, if the tenant and landlord have difficulties in coming to an agreement, a Landlord Statutory Declaration Form can be used to resolve the conflict.

What is a Statutory Declaration?

A Statutory Declaration is a legal document, drafted in accordance with the Declarations Act 1835. It attests the truth of all facts stated in it and if proven otherwise, the person filing it will face legal consequences.

How does it apply to landlords?
As a landlord, you are legally obligated to place your tenant’s rental deposit in a Deposit Scheme within 30 days of entering an assured shorthold tenancy. This is applicable if the agreement has started after the 6th of April 2007.

For different types of tenancy agreements, valuable goods can be accepted as deposits, however these are not protected by the deposit scheme.
At the end of the tenancy, both parties should discuss and agree on any potential deductions. In this case, the Deposit Scheme does not need to be notified and the deposit must be returned to the tenant within 10 days.

Should there be any disagreements between the two, landlords can file a Statutory Declaration Form stating the reasons why these deductions are necessary. These can include:

  • Repairings or damages to the property
  • Redecoration
  • Cleaning fees
  • Rent arrears
  • Others

Depending on the Deposit Scheme of choice, the process can be slightly different. Once the claim is made, the tenant must give a response within a limited number of days (it’s usually 14), and should they disagree with the claim, they need to do so in writing.

The deposit will be safely kept in the Deposit Scheme until the parties involved can reach an agreement. If, however, the response is not given within that timeframe, the deposit will be returned to the landlord.

Any money given by the tenant to the landlord, with the purpose of holding a property, is not protected by the tenancy protection scheme, unless this has been done after signing an agreement.

How do I make a Landlord Statutory Declaration?

Firstly, you need a Statutory Declaration template. You can ask the Deposit Scheme for an updated version. Then, you will need to book a meeting with either a solicitor, Commissioner of Oath, Notary or Justice of Peace.

Please note that you will need an impartial witness when signing the form. You can use a solicitor , or whichever party (as stated above) you choose, to fulfil that role for you. However, the witness and your legal representative must be different. You cannot use the same solicitor for both.

When the declaration form is signed, you can send it to your Deposit Scheme. Evidence will need to be provided by both the landlord and the tenant to support their claims. A final decision will be made based on all the case details.

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Laura Cristian - Digital Marketing Assistant - Meet the team - SAM Conveyancing
Written by:
Laura has a talent for data analysis and fact-finding. She is an advertising graduate with a broad range of skills in the web marketing field within conveyancing sector. She works closely with our panel of solicitors and surveyors to understand our clients' needs and challenges and to write the most valuable content for you.
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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