Tenant not responding to DPS Claim

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    Tenant not responding to DPS Claim

    I've needed to submit a claim via the DPS for the first time for damage. The tenant also left owing two weeks rent which needs to be deducted from the deposit. They rented a room for 1.5 years and were very pleasant when I spoke to them. I had seen the room while conducting viewings and noticed quite a few dirty marks on the walls, but no other issues then. The room was renovated 3 years ago and was immaculate when she moved in as a prior tenant was very clean. The tenant left during the day while I was at work so I inspected after. I saw a broken piece of wood on the floor. The wardrobe had been moved and I found this was the bit which had been at the base at the back. I was able to fix this. The side of the mattress showing was OK but when I flipped it over it was stained all over. I could see the tenant had tried to clean it off and saturated it given the water marks all around the edges. I cleaned the carpet with a vax and had a go at the mattress but the stains wouldn't shift and there is a hole also. This had been purchased from Ikea so I have bought another from there at a cost of £80 and got the damaged collected by the council at a cost of £25 along with a broken clothes airer they left. This mattress did have a protector on but not when the tenant left. To add to this they broke the freezer drawer they had been using a few months ago but I hadn't charged them for replacing that. This tenant cleared up after themselves in communal spaces but another tenant said she had seen their room with the floor covered in clothes and rubbish and plates and cups with mould on piled on surfaces. They evidently cleaned that away before viewings but had reportedly been very untidy.

    I submitted a claim to the DPS for deduction of two weeks rent and the mattress cost from the deposit one week ago and there has been no reply. I emailed the tenant at the time explaining the charges, they did know before that I would need to deduct for the rent owing. I didn't charge for painting the room and all of the cleaning I had to do, fixing the wardrobe or replacing the freezer drawer, if I have to take this to the court I plan to. I felt I was being fair, this tenant would normally respond within a day to email so they have clearly ignored me now. Having looked into what I need to do next am I right in thinking the court has to order the DPS to pay funds back to me? Would appreciate advice from anyone who has been through this process as I tried calling the DPS and hung up after being o hold for several minutes. Thanks.
    IMG_1338[1].JPGIMG_1345.JPG

    #2
    If the tenant doesn't respond, you can start the single claim process for the entire deposit from the DPS.

    Have a look at the DPS website.
    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
      You can't charge the new price for the mattress. Even in non-rental service there are TV adverts suggesting replacing after 8 years. You will probably only be allowed 5 years, in which case you could only charge 40% of the price three years ago.

      I haven't heard of people including disposal costs, but I suppose that could be argued, but with the same 60% reduction.

      £25 sounds like a price only available to householders. You were disposing of it as trade waste and should have been charged the full business charge for the service, it it is even provided to businesses.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by amy131 View Post
        Having looked into what I need to do next am I right in thinking the court has to order the DPS to pay funds back to me?
        No, you just follow the statutory declaration process here;
        https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com...laration-form/

        (The DPS process is the same)

        £80 for a soiled unusable mattress and £25 for disposal sounds very reasonable to me. The tenant has had and still has ample opportunity to dispute it if they think it unfair.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          You were disposing of it as trade waste
          Being a landlord is not a trade, so how does it become trade waste?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by amy131 View Post
            am I right in thinking the court has to order the DPS to pay funds back to me?
            First, as above, go through the single claim process.

            If you then go to court and are awarded money, then ensure that the court order says that money is claimable from the deposit held by the DPS.

            Comment


              #7
              I've only used the single claim process once, and I don't remember being able to claim anything other than the complete deposit (but that was what I was claiming anyway, so I might be misremembering).
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                I've only used the single claim process once, and I don't remember being able to claim anything other than the complete deposit (but that was what I was claiming anyway, so I might be misremembering).
                At the end of a tenancy the LL is required to lodge a claim for the amount of deposit LL wishes to receive and authorise the return of the rest to the T.

                The single claim comes later, so the LL is then asking for all of the deposit still held (the amount of the initial claim).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies.

                  I rent out what was my home, I have a consent to let agreement in place with my mortgage provider. I moved away due to my studies, I'm a full-time student. All rental income is declared to HMRC but my income is low so I don't fully know where I stand in respect of the trade waste comment. The deposit deduction didn't include the charges for removal of the mattress and broken clothes airer they left.

                  Costs I've incurred due to damage are £40 to replace the broken fridge freezer drawer and front, £80 for the new mattress, £20 for the paint, £25 waste collection fees. Plus there is the time I've taken to put things back to how they were - the cleaning, painting, repairing etc. So I think the £80 deduction for damages plus the two weeks rent owed is reasonable.

                  At this stage I have used the process whereby a claim is made against the deposit, no details have been required yet. It isn't clear how long the DPS give for the past tenant to respond. They haven't responded to my email or the email they will have had from the DPS. From what I've read online it seems that once 14 days have passed since the end of the tenancy I can then use the single claim process. This involves requesting a Statutory Declaration form and getting the signing of this witnessed by a solicitor, as outlined in one of the guides by the DPS.

                  Will I be able to claim for the fee a solicitor will charge to witness the signature? and any ideas how much this will cost? Seems quite a cumbersome process.




                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                    Being a landlord is not a trade, so how does it become trade waste?
                    Business may be more correct, but basically because it has been generated as the result of carrying out activities for profit. I've quoted two councils that explain this position, and I'm sure I can find more.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by amy131 View Post
                      Will I be able to claim for the fee a solicitor will charge to witness the signature?
                      It seems reasonable to include it.
                      Originally posted by amy131 View Post
                      and any ideas how much this will cost?
                      Cost me £5 last year.

                      Originally posted by amy131 View Post
                      Seems quite a cumbersome process.
                      You are making a claim to the tenant's money, so the legal processes have to be followed.


                      Comment

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