Deposit warning: Landlord narrowly avoids £83,760 fine after failing to protect

Given that the deposit protection rules were introduced in 2004, most landlords are aware of them by ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Deposit warning: Landlord narrowly avoids £83,760 fine after failing to protect | LandlordZONE.

Deposit warning: Landlord narrowly avoids £83,760 fine after failing to protect

Given that the deposit protection rules were introduced in 2004, most landlords are aware of them by now, but people still fall foul of the rules, says Tom Entwistle.

The legislation introduced by the Housing Act 2004 gives tenants and their lawyers something of an incentive to ‘catch out’ landlords who don’t comply with the rules. They can get compensation which is a multiple of the deposit paid, depending on the severity of the breach of the rules.

The tenant can claim and the judge can award anything from one to three times the original deposit in compensation for the tenant.

The Rules:

  • Landlords or their agents must protect the deposit in an approved deposit protection scheme at the right time, i.e., within 30 days of taking it.
  • The landlord / agent must serve on the tenant certain “prescribed information” – as set out in the legislation including details about the property, the deposit paid and how it is being held. This information must be served on the tenant and whoever provided the deposit.

Despite the rules being reasonably clear and simple landlords occasionally get taken to court over breaches of the legislation and receive quite heavy fines because of it.

What many people fail to realise is that where tenancies have been renewed and the deposit has not been legally protected, the fines can multiply. It is not uncommon for tenancies to be renewed several times over a period of years, so fines can be payable for each and every breach when the deposit has not been protected.

Howard v Dalton

Such was the story in the case of Howard v Dalton (2019), and this was rather an extreme example of multiple fines adding to an exceptionally large amount.

Ms Howard was the tenant of Mr Dalton and entered into a tenancy agreement in 2007 paying an initial deposit of £900. On signing the agreement, she paid a further £845, obtaining a receipt which said “deposit remainer”.

Ms Howard was a long-term tenant entering into a further seven tenancies over a period of years.

The deposit was not protected by the landlord and neither was the prescribed information served on the tenant. The deposit was not protected until 2014 and the prescribed information was never served.

Ordinarily, had the deposit been protected on the first tenancy and the information provided there would have been no requirement to re-protect or re-serve the notice on the subsequent tenancies.

The landlord was vulnerable to a claim.

Sure enough, Ms Howard brought a claim for compensation and the claim was defended by Mr Dalton. The surprise for the landlord was the amount of the claim.

Ms Howard’s claim included fines for 8 tenancies and for failing to protect a deposit of £1745. She claimed that the failure to protect and the failure to serve the notice amounted to 16 separate offences all subject to a fine of 3 times the deposit amounting to £83,760.

The district judge went along with the claim. It was held that there had been two breaches (failure to protect and failure to provide prescribed information) for each of the eight tenancies, so 16 breaches in all. The court awarded the tenant compensation amounting to three times the deposit of £1745 for each breach, making a total of £83,760.

The landlord, perhaps picking himself up off the floor, appealed.

Appeal court decision

It was a fact that the 2007 tenancy deposit had not been protected until 2014, there was no argument over that. The fact that no deposit had been protected meant that no prescribed information, a key requirement, could have legally been served.

The court identified that within S.214 Housing Act 2004 was provided a claim for damages for either a breach of s.213(3) or s.213(6) – it could be one (failure to protect) or two (failure to serve) it could not be both. The penalty was therefore to be one fine per tenancy.

Fortunately for Mr Dalton, Ms Howard had failed to mention in here pre-action correspondence that the eight tenancies involved would be relied on at the trial when claiming compensation. 

Mr Dalton raised this point at the appeal trail, and the judge agreed it was a valid limitation. The judge also applied the 6 years statute of limitations rule which reduced the number of tenancies under consideration to four. Furthermore, the judge decided that the second payment of £845 was in fact a rent in advance payment.

Further still, the judge reduced the fine multiple from three to two times the deposit, not giving any reason for this but these fines are at the court’s discretion, making a total fine and the compensation figure that Ms Howard was to receive at £7,200.

While this fine was much less that it could have been, it is still a substantial amount and a warning to landlords and agents to take great care over deposits. Courts will come down heavily on landlords who blatantly breach the deposit rules, but clearly they are reluctant to impose fines which are so high they would cause unnecessary suffering and distress.

Read more about deposits.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Deposit warning: Landlord narrowly avoids £83,760 fine after failing to protect | LandlordZONE.

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13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S.

From extravagant to quaint, homes across the U.S. hold their own unique beauty and characteristics just like the people who inhabit them. Check out the 14 most popular home styles in the United States right now. The post 13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S. appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S.

No matter where you live, you’ll likely encounter a wide variety of architectural home styles just by driving through your neighborhood. From extravagant to quaint, homes across the U.S. hold their own unique beauty and characteristics just like the people who inhabit them.

So, what are the most popular home styles in the U.S.? From to , you don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the range of stunning house styles available on the . So whether you’re in the market for a new home or just love browsing homes on your favorite , check out the 14 most popular home styles in the United States right now.

What Are the Most Popular Home Styles?

1. Ranch-style homes

Dating back to 1932, the ranch-style home grew in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s, and is still popular today. The iconic ranch architecture is known for its simple, single-story floor plan, low-to-the-ground look, often with an open layout and occasional basement. This style of house typically has a smaller yard, attached garage, and a low-pitched roof. The ranch-style home often features large windows and sliding glass doors, encouraging an indoor-outdoor living style. A ranch can also be called a ‘rambler,’ depending on which region in the country you live in and local terminology. 

Looking locally, ranch-style homes currently have the highest sale-to-list ratio in a handful of cities,  meaning this style of house is more likely to sell above the list price. These cities include , , , San Francisco, CA, and . Each of these cities favor the rambler, with a current sale-to-list ratio of over 100%.

2. Craftsman-style homes

Two-story red brick colored craftsman home with greenery

The beloved craftsman style home became increasingly popular in the 1900s by architect and furniture designer Gustav Stickley, and has remained popular throughout the 21st century. This staple for American Architecture adds charm to any neighborhood with its exterior features, including shingles, low-pitched roofs, and covered front porches. Craftsman homes also feature recognizable interior details such as thick trim, prominent ceiling beams, and built-in shelving and seating.

Craftsman homes are a desirable home style all across the U.S., but they are often sold above list price in , , , and .

3. Contemporary-style homes

A two story white contemporary-style home with black garage and trim

Contemporary architecture is often used interchangeably when describing modern style architecture. A wide range of recently built homes are built with Contemporary-style architecture. These homes have inventive designs and simple forms without elaborate ornamentation or detail. They usually have geometric lines, large windows and doors to bring in light, and open floor plans. They often incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly building materials, textures, and components, exposed roof beams, and flat or low-pitched roofs. 

Contemporary-style homes see the highest sale-to-list ratio in , , , , , Chicago, IL, and .

4. Modern-style homes

Single-story modern home with pool is one of the most popular home styles

Emerging in the 1920s to embrace minimalism and reject the more ornate home styles, modern house styles typically include progressive elements such as asymmetrical exteriors, flat roofs, and integrated outdoor spaces. Many modern interiors also feature minimal molding and trim, neutral color palettes, and metal accents.

You’ll find the highest sale-to-list ratio in .

5. Cape Cod-style homes

Single-story white cape-cod home with large lawn and front porch

With roots dating back to 1675, the quaint and charming Cape Cod-style homes are reminiscent of the classic American cottage style. This type of home design migrated from England to the United States, maintaining its symmetrical design and central chimney. Cape Cod-style homes feature a steep roof to keep snow from accumulating, dormer windows for added light, wood siding and shutters to keep the heat in, and hardwood floors for comfort and practicality. 

This style of house is prevalent in the northeastern part of the United States, commonly found in the New England region.

6. Colonial-style homes

Two story, brick colonial style homes with dark blue shutters

Dating back to 1876, East Coast architecture has maintained its allure in many parts of the United States. These classic homes are known for their old-world charm, decorative doorways, and symmetrical window placement. Many colonial-style homes will have two or three stories, fireplaces, and brick or wood exteriors.

Colonial-style homes are similar to the Cape Cod-style home because of their symmetry and side-gabled roofs, but Cape Cod-style homes are typically one story rather than two or three. Colonial-style homes can be found in the northeastern part of the United States.

7. Tudor-style homes

Neutral colored tudor style home with path to the front door

Originating in the 15th century during the reign of the House of Tudor, this style of house is fairly easy to identify with its unique features. Tudor-style homes typically have a combination of brick, stone, or stucco exterior and decorative half-timbering on the second story to create the well-known striped exterior. They also feature a steeply-pitched roof, cross gables, and tall, narrow windows. Today, Tudor-style homes are prominent in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

8. Cottage-style homes

two story cottage style home painted blue with an arched doorway

Inspired by the medieval styles of the English countryside, American architects designed the cozy cottage-style houses during the 1920s and 30s. This style of house typically has a steep, thatched roof, arched doorways, shuttered windows, and a warm storybook character bringing to life old-world charm.

9. Mediterranean-style homes

Mediterranean style home is mot popular in California and Florida

Mediterranean-style homes are suitable for warmer climates, which is why this style of house became prevalent in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. Influenced by the architecture of countries in the Mediterranean region, they often have low-pitched red tile roofs, vaulted ceilings, arched doors and windows, and a stucco or adobe exterior. The floor plan is typically U-shaped, creating a central courtyard for a garden or fountain. Today, this style of house remains popular in California and Florida.

10. Farmhouse-style homes

Two story white farmhouse-style home with a large lawn and black trim

The farmhouse was designed back in the early 1700s, built as housing for farmers and all about practicality. Modern farmhouses still exhibit many of the same features that the original design included, like large, wraparound front porches, clapboard siding, large fireplaces, wood floors, eat-in kitchens, and oversized kitchen sinks. 

11. Mid-Century modern-style homes

Neutral colored mid century modern home with triangle-shaped entry and wood fence

Mid-century modern style is part of the modernism movement and dates back to post-World War II, and remained popular throughout the 1970s. A mid-century modern design is characterized by minimalism, clean lines, and floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll often see open layouts, and a mix of natural and manufactured materials for the interior elements like wood, stone, steel, and plastic.

Mid-century modern style homes are most popular in , , , and , with a sale-to-list ratio as high as 131.5% in Oakland.

12. Victorian-style homes

Two-story, pink victorian style home with white trim and round tower

Victorian-style homes were first seen during the Victorian Era from around 1860 to 1900. This house style is best described as a colorful dollhouse with romantic and distinctive features. Victorian-style homes have elaborate detailing in just about every part of the home, from the intricate wood trim, ornate staircases, stained glass, and decorative woodwork. They have steep gabled roofs, a front-facing gable, patterned shingles, bay windows, a round tower, and a front porch.

Victorian-style homes remain popular in and , with a sale-to-list ratio of 98.5% and 101.1%, respectively. 

13. Townhouse

four story brick townhouse

Originating in Europe and eventually migrating to the United States, townhomes are most commonly found across cities in the United States. With the convenience of spacious layouts, townhomes offer more amenities than the condo styles and are lower maintenance than most residential homes. They’re typically two or three-story homes, usually sharing one or two walls with adjacent properties, and a rooftop deck to enjoy sprawling views.

Home styles with the highest sale-to-list ratio in the largest 12 US metros:

Metro Home Style Sale-to-list ratio % active listings
Phoenix, AZ Ranch 102.3% 4.0%
Contemporary 101.8% 2.0%
Atlanta, GA Craftsman 100% 1.9%
Ranch 99.9% 2.0%
New Construction 101.9% 3.0%
Portland, OR Ranch 105.4% 2.2%
New Construction 103.5% 11.2%
Craftsman 101.5% 2.0%
Oakland, CA Mid Century Modern 131.5% 1.2%
Craftsman 128.4% 2.2%
Contemporary 112.5% 4.4%
Boston, MA Victorian 98.5% 1.0%
Craftsman 99.1% 1.0%
Penthouse Unit 103.3% 1.0%
Chicago, IL Raised Ranch/Ranch 100.2% 1.0%
Contemporary 99.1% 1.3%
Elevator Building 99.0% 1.0%
Denver, CO Contemporary 101.5% 7.9%
Mid Century Modern 105.1% 1.0%
Modern Architecture 103% 1.1%
San Francisco, CA Mid Century Modern 122.8% 1.0%
Contemporary 102.6% 6.5%
Ranch 104.7% 2.4%
Seattle, WA Mid Century Modern 110.9% 1.0%
Craftsman 108% 3.9%
New Construction 105.4% 28.0%
San Diego, CA Ranch 102.5% 2.3%
Contemporary 100.7% 3.3%
New Construction 101.2.% 1.2%


*Per on, as of May 2021 

Individual results may vary. This is not intended as a substitute for the services of a licensed real estate agent, or licensed and bonded home services professional or appraiser.


The post 13 Most Popular Home Styles Across the U.S. appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

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