28 January 2015

Deposit disputes- an overview

The Deposit Protection Service recently reported that a large number of both Landlords and Tenants fail to submit evidence on time when adjudication has been agreed to during a deposit dispute.  18% of Landlords and 23% of Tenants miss the deadlines clearly set out at the start of the process, or even worse, fail to submit any evidence at all.  If deadlines are missed the DPS will automatically find in the Tenants favour.  This may seem a little unfair but it needs to be remembered that the deposit is the Tenants money and the Landlord needs to prove why they have a claim on it which, in turn, the Tenant need to argue why they don’t!

The DPS clearly set out the process at the very start of the adjudication but these dates are set in stone.  Dealing with adjudication can be time consuming if done properly but it is worth doing thoroughly as you really only get one shot at this. 

Evidence is key – both photographic and written.  It is worth spending time putting together all the evidence that the DPS request and any additional, relevant information.  Try to make the adjudicators job easier for them by highlighting appropriate paragraphs, numbering photographs referred to in documentation and number and list all evidence provided.  Adjudicators look through several of these every day so you want to make sure they don’t miss anything pertinent to the case. 

If evidence is received it will be sent to the other side for their comments, once the adjudicator has glanced over it.  This is the last point at which you can comment or provide any further evidence.  It will then go through the full adjudication.

Remember – the adjudicators’ decision is final!  So spend time on getting the evidence right as there is no comeback!

If you want any advice on adjudication please feel free to ask.  This is something that we will cover in further blog articles.

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