New rules for tenancy deposits - FAQs from DCLG

Section 184 of the Localism Act 2011 makes changes to the rules on residential tenancy deposits. Article 8 of The Localism Act 2011 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional, Transitory and Saving Provisions) Order 2012 (SI 2012/628) brought section 184 of the Localism Act 2011 into force on 6 April in England and Wales.

DCLG provides some FAQs on its website. See:
Changes to the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation - Frequently asked questions
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One of the questions is: “Are the changes retrospective? No. The amendments apply to any deposit received in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy which the Housing Act 2004 applies to and which was in effect on or after 6 April 2012.”

So, in other words, the answer is “Yes”. Under article 16 of the Commencement Order, the amendments made by section 184 apply in respect of any tenancy deposit received by a landlord in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy where the tenancy was in effect on or after 6 April 2012. This does not say “was brought into effect on or after 6 April 2012”. It says “was in effect on or after 6 April 2012” – e.g. by virtue of a grant made before then. So the new rules do apply retrospectively to tenancies granted in the past. Article 16 goes on to say that the amendments do not apply in respect of such a tenancy (i.e. one that was in effect on 6 April) if, within 30 days of 6 April 2012, the landlord has complied with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme in relation to the deposit, and given to the tenant (and any relevant person) the information prescribed for the purposes of section 213(5) of the Housing Act 2004.