Deposit dispute – rent arears – nightmare tenants

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    Deposit dispute – rent arears – nightmare tenants

    We managed to evict our nightmare tenants who stopped paying rent – we used the Section 21 route (accelerated possession) and despite their attempts to delay / prevent eviction they are at last gone J

    We were able to claim their housing benefit directly from the local council due to their rent arrears exceeding 8 weeks. However this did not cover the rent; but it was a help but meant their arears continued to build.

    We have put in a claim for the deposit with the DPS. However the tenants have disputed this! It feels like a joke, and I am almost certain we should get the despite back, but our experience so far tells us the system favours bad tenants. Would appreciate some advice about whether we need to send in any further information to support our claim.

    Rent areas

    The rent arears exceed the total deposit. Our evidence to the DPS includes two rent statements to our tenants (with proof of postage) including the final statement, two letters from the local council confirming we are eligible to receive housing benefit directly and the amounts.

    Our tenants have claimed they do not know how much the council were paying us in housing benefit, so have no idea how much the rent arears are. This is untrue, and oddly the tenants have also sent into the DPS an email where our tenants have told us they plan to use the deposit to cover the rent arears.

    We have also sent the contract showing the rental amount, and the fact that the deposit can be claimed for rent areas.

    Cleaning / repairs

    We have also included a claim for £800 for cleaning and repairs and missing items.

    We have included the original inventory detailing the property as being in good condition, newly refurbished. We have then included photos at checkout, showing the property in fifthly condition, with damage to walls etc. We have tried to be as specific as possible, for example, the fridge / freezer was new ( as listed on inventory) with photos showing the door damaged and inside dirty. Our tenants have claimed they weren’t let back in to complete the cleaning after they were evicted.

    We are almost certain that we should get back the deposit, but should we include anything else to the DPS. It felt like we were emailing over so much information, however, from my reading it seems that the DPS tend to favour the tenant and will never ask for additional information from landlords, even if the landlords claim is plausible. So, is there anything further we should be sending over to the DPS?

    #2
    I don't agree that the DPS favour tenants.
    It feels like that to a lot of landlords - particularly those who make high claims (and, having spoken to a number of tenants, they feel that the process favours landlords).
    If you are claiming an appropriate amount, you will probably get it.

    Your claim for missing items and repairs should take account of the fair wear and tear and expected lifetime of the items.
    If you claim for the full replacement cost of an item it will usually be reduced.
    Your claim is for the loss in value of the item, not it's cost to replace (similarly repair costs should be capped at the value lost).

    One thing it's fair to point out is that obviously the tenants weren't allowed back into the property to clean up after they were evicted.
    That just doesn't happen - and it's not as if the eviction was a surprise / last minute thing.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      As the rent arrears exceed the deposit, it is pointless arguing about damage etc to DPS - all they are going to pay is the deposit they hold.

      After deliberation, they should grant this in full providing the tenant can not provide proof that they have paid what you claim is due.

      You have to decide if there is any point taking tenant to court for any remaining rent / damage.

      Comment


        #4
        Worth claiming for rent shortfall, even if nothing forthcoming, just to register the CCJ against them. Debt remains 'live' for 6 years & they may win the Lottery in 5 years

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the comments. We do intend to persue the rent arears through the court system; we were unsure at the point of eviction; however the extra work and stress the tenants have created through disputing the deposit has made our mind up.

          The tenants have provided no evidence that they are not in rent arears; they have not disputed the rent arears exist. We are just concerned we have missed an important piece of documentation needed by the DPS.

          Comment

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