Employers renting UK homes for relocatees should be aware of this loophole
In the UK, property owners and their agents used to be able to hold on to renters’ deposits on account of trumped-up damages claims. Fighting off unreasonable claims consumed considerable money and time.
Then the law was changed to put renters in a much stronger position. However, there’s a loophole: if the lease is in a corporate name, the new protections do not apply. The new protections only apply to an “AST” where the lease goes in the employee’s own name. They do not apply to “company lets”
When the lease is in a company’s name (i.e., where the lease goes in the name of the employer), it will be the terms of the lease that govern how the deposit and damage claims (dilapidations) are handled at termination.
If you merely sign the paperwork presented to you by the landlord/agent, you will likely be at their mercy when it comes to the end of the lease. But it need not be that way. It’s usually perfectly possible to negotiate the terms of the lease so the new regime applies, and so that your company’s deposit is fully protected, and its liability and obligations are properly qualified.
I strongly advise in these cases that the company be independently advised and represented in negotiating the lease terms. Your Saunders 1865 representative will take care of this for you as part of our home-finding program, and we are also happy to advise on lease terms on an ad hoc basis.
I must say that without a doubt, you are the most thorough, organized, and responsive professionals we have worked with during all of our UK dealings. We truly couldn’t have gotten this far without you!