DISPUTE HELP - DPS repaid a deposit without adjudication!

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    DISPUTE HELP - DPS repaid a deposit without adjudication!

    Hi all, I'm new to this forum so I apologise if this is posted in the wrong place.

    Unfortunately, I'm at a loss as to what to do with this unique situation so I hope someone can give me some advice on this forum...

    I recently had a tenant vacate my property and having identified a few issues which actually breached their contract, I made some fair deductions to ensure the room was returned to the original state. Some points were agreed however, some were not and so we went down the disputes route with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

    Having made my claim, I was then advised to send them the evidence by email to their disputes team by a certain date. I complied and spent a lot of time creating a comprehensive evidence pack. I received an automated email confirming receipt of my evidence email and it said a response would come within 5 days. After the 5th working day, I had no response so i chased and was told on the phone that this was being dealt with and I would get a response soon..

    Nothing came until an email saying the deposit has now been paid to the tenant... I followed this up with a call and was shocked to learn that the payment was made back to the tenant by default as my evidence was never received!!!!!!! They couldn't find my email (after confirming that I sent everything to the right place etc) and now claim that they can not rescind the deposit payment! This was a matter of principle and now the tenant has got away 'scott free' with me out of pocket and with egg on my face. I told DPS of their wrong doing and was advised to send the original email and confirmation of receipt email on as evidence that I did in fact send this in the allotted time. They would then investigate this, adjudicate it and then give me my money back from their own pocket should I have won. For me the amount was relatively low and to be told this is outrageous. It defies the point of their service to protect both the landlord and tenant. I am confident about my case but since the tenant has had their money back with no further questions asked, why should I now be subject to a 'mock adjudication'?

    Anyway, fast forward 6 more working days and still no response. I chased again on the phone to find my email has been received but the original email needed to be sent as an attachment, not forwarded on... so i send it again as an attachment... called back the next day and was told there is no email! Understandably, i kicked off and was told to forward on to a team leader on a different email address. They were meant to call me back and get this dealt with but again, nothing.

    I have raised a complaint and heard nothing back. I have contacted the citizens advice bureau but they cannot help. I was told to speak to the national landlord association but need to pay £90 for membership to get any advice. I am literally at a loss in every respect. DPS have displayed gross negligence and I not only want my money back but I want compensation however, I am getting no where.

    Everything seems to be tailored to supporting tenants but what about landlord's and their rights?!


    #2
    It sounds like a cock up by the DPS, but stuff happens.

    You can recover the compensation for your loss from the tenant, using the small claims court.
    Start by sending a letter before action to the tenant, pointing out that because of an error by the DPS they still owe you the money you are claiming, ask them for prompt payment (14 days) otherwise you will take legal action to recover with no further notice (and your claim will include the court fees).

    Be polite, because none of this is the tenant's fault and they may think that they simply won the adjudication.
    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
      I think I'd be seeking compensation from DPS in the first instance. Let us know what the team leader says.

      Comment


        #4
        So essentially have it adjudicated in court assuming DPS fail to do anything further? At which point I would get that money back from the tenant plus any compensation?

        Should DPS conduct their 'mock adjudication' and state that I was right and my case wins, I can take the tenant to court for the compensation?

        Should DPS not be liable for their error and refund/compensate me directly?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Jpmistry View Post
          Should DPS not be liable for their error and refund/compensate me directly?
          They most definitely should. Haven't DPS already said that they will adjudicate and pay you if any money is due?

          "They would then investigate this, adjudicate it and then give me my money back from their own pocket should I have won."

          Have you made a formal complaint to DPS?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by LandlordJ View Post

            They most definitely should. Haven't DPS already said that they will adjudicate and pay you if any money is due?

            "They would then investigate this, adjudicate it and then give me my money back from their own pocket should I have won."

            Have you made a formal complaint to DPS?
            I've grown tired of chasing them but yes they did say they would adjudicate and yes i have made a formal complaint. I have next to no patience to go through their dispute formalities now we are at this stage. Their website says they will request I complete more forms and they may still be in touch to ask further questions.

            Surely they should repay me out of principle. The cynic in me tells me the fight will be much harder since it's their own money on the line!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jpmistry View Post
              So essentially have it adjudicated in court assuming DPS fail to do anything further? At which point I would get that money back from the tenant plus any compensation?
              I don't think the tenant owes any compensation other than whatever you were claiming in the first place (assuming what you were claiming was compensation for some loss).
              Should DPS conduct their 'mock adjudication' and state that I was right and my case wins, I can take the tenant to court for the compensation?
              Personally, I'd wait a bit and see what happens - the DPS isn't that quick and these are unusual times.
              Should DPS not be liable for their error and refund/compensate me directly?
              Based on what you've said, yes.
              But I'm presuming it's a simple error and that they will decline to compensate you.
              Which may not happen - I was simply pointing out that the tenant can still be claimed against, despite the DPS' error.

              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
                Thanks JPK. I will bare that in mind but I don't feel as though i have an issue with the tenant anymore, more so DPS.

                They are likely to reject compensation claims from looking at their conditions since they would never refund any more than the deposit amount. Should I get a less than satisfactory response, how do i take it further against them?

                Comment


                  #9
                  You can probably make a claim against them - they owed you a duty of care, arguably breached it and you suffered a loss as a direct consequence of that.
                  So even if their terms and conditions don't allow you to make a claim, you have an alternative route to a claim.

                  The issue is that they could carry out the adjudication, decide that you weren't entitled to any (or only nominal) deductions from the deposit, which means that you haven't suffered any loss and do nothing.

                  You can expend a lot of energy and achieve not much.
                  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


                    #10
                    I have no faith that the adjudication is going to be fair considering there is now a conflict. (funds potentially to be paid from DPS)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Not unique at all. There are many other threads about these thieves and I no longer take deposits as a result.
                      My advice is give up - sadly you'll never get it back but valuable lesson learned...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ditto. Taking deposits is utterly pointless. Most adjudications are less than the cost of two inventories, so what on earth was the point?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I just wanted to say I share your frustrations with the DPS. My issues with them were not nearly as bad as yours. However I remember when I needed help in completing their online application to protect my tenant's deposit, they basically said they can not provide advice and I would need to speak to a solicitor!! Keep in mind this was for filling their own application. Completely ridiculous.

                          Luckily I used the custodial service only so I am hoping I have a lot more protection against the kind of thing that has happened to you.

                          Sorry I can not be of any help but i completely understand your frustration with this terrible organization. Hope others read this and stay well clear of the DPS.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by leasee123 View Post
                            Luckily I used the custodial service only so I am hoping I have a lot more protection against the kind of thing that has happened to you.
                            The problem reported would only be possible in a custodial scheme.
                            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


                              #15
                              Sorry i meant insurance not custodial - i keep the deposit in my bank account.

                              Comment

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