Deposit return timeline during holiday season and Covid

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    Deposit return timeline during holiday season and Covid

    I understand from the TDS website that a deposit should repaid within 10 days of request by the tenant. I can't see any clarification as to whether the reference to day means calendar day or working day but, in the absence of this, I assume that I should take it to mean calendar day. Is any leeway given for bank holidays? Also is any leeway given for Covid restrictions?

    Both the tenant and I are keen to have the matter wrapped up quickly. We both asked the property manager to obtain quotes for dilapidations. However due to the holiday season and Tier 4 restrictions in London, quotes may be difficult to obtain quickly. In the absence of the property manager obtaining quotes, do the tenant and I need to come to an agreement regardless so that the 10 day period can be met? (It expires on 31 December.)

    Thanks in advance!

    #2
    I don't use this provider, but another, but the process should be very similar, if you and the T have agreed the final deductions etc, then it would be an automatic process to release the funds to both parties within 14 days, this is usually via a bank transfer - this may also take upto 5 working days to process.

    I would inform the T that this process has nothing to do with you and is via a 3rd party, so there isn't much more you can do. If there is a dispute on the item then the process is even longer.

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      #3
      Unfortunately the amount has yet to be agreed as both the tenant and I wanted the amount to be based on quotes and quotes have yet to be obtained. The tenant is becoming frustrated (and rightly so) with my property manager who has been asked to obtain the quotes. With the holiday season and additional difficulties with Covid restrictions, meeting the 10 day timeline for repayment of the deposit will not be possible unless we agree an amount in the absence of quotes. This has been a good tenant and I don't want them to be unnecessarily disadvantaged.

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        #4
        Obtaining quotes is nothing to with the TDS, that's for you or the T to organise, why don't you ask other tradesperson to give you quotes that way you have it and can close the issue. Otherwise, you need to repay the amount and write off the loss incurred to you. What are the issues with the property?

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          #5
          Thanks all for the input. To sum up, quotes were obtained but the tenant remains unhappy with both items identified as dilapidations (rather than wear and tear) by the check out clerk, and as to the amount of the quotes to rectify. The tenant has therefore refused to pay any amount and has raised a dispute through TDS.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wildflower View Post
            The tenant has therefore refused to pay any amount and has raised a dispute through TDS.
            In which case you're both going to be bound by the timescales of TDS and neither of you can do much to speed things up.

            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).

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              #7
              If the check-out clerk was independent, then I think that TDS would be more likely to accept their view than the tenants

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                #8
                I thought I'd post an update as people were kind enough to provide suggestions to me.

                As mentioned, T considered the quote obtained for works to remedy dilapidations to be too great.

                The property manager confirmed that he had explained the following to the T:
                "They may seem small jobs, but each repair requires sanding, filling and prepping, which takes time and then in some cases 2 coats may be necessary. Most of the touch ups require a wall section to be painted, you cannot simply paint over a mark on a wall as this will be fresh paint on a wall that is not freshly painted, it would be obvious where the touch up has been made and would make this more obvious. Likewise on the door, you cannot just paint a small strip of new satin wood on the door as this will stand out and show the slight fading/discolour of the rest of the door."
                Remaining dissatisfied, T took this to the TDS adjudicator. The adjudicator has now concluded:
                "I am not satisfied the full cost claimed would represent a reasonable amount to award considering the deterioration, which the evidence does not demonstrate was so severe and extensive whole walls/doors/frames required redecorating.... Taking into account fair wear and tear and the principle of betterment, the condition at check-in and the deterioration, I award the landlords £[ ], which I consider to be a fair and reasonable amount to award."
                I am concerned that the adjudicator feels better qualified than the relevant professional to determine the extent of works needed to repair damage. In addition, the quote referred to wall 'sections' and never 'whole walls' as referred to by the adjudicator.

                As the L, I have had to pay the full amount of the quote to prepare the property for the next T. There has been no element of betterment.

                My experience is that the adjudicator always finds in favour of the tenant, regardless of having an independent clerk undertake check in and check out and regardless of quotes from relevant contractors.

                Comment


                  #9
                  During the pandemic, TDS will extend the time for evidence gathering on a case by case basis.

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                    #10
                    You might also want to check the council tax has been paid up to date so the council don't try and get you to pay it. Having said that, when my T left I asked the council if the CT was up to date and they said it was so I released all the deposit to the tenant. It takes much more than 10 or 14 days to find out bills haven't been paid.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by wildflower View Post
                      In addition, the quote referred to wall 'sections' and never 'whole walls' as referred to by the adjudicator.

                      As the L, I have had to pay the full amount of the quote to prepare the property for the next T. There has been no element of betterment.

                      My experience is that the adjudicator always finds in favour of the tenant, regardless of having an independent clerk undertake check in and check out and regardless of quotes from relevant contractors.
                      No landlord is ever going to recover the full cost of remedial work, unless something brand new has been badly damaged.

                      There's always going to be an element of the work that will be reduced as being normal wear and tear over the course of the tenancy.
                      That's as well as the problem with cosmetic work that there's usually an element of betterment, because it makes sense to paint whole walls (which otherwise look bad) and therefore you're effectively painting over good paint.

                      I always try and make the point that painting a wall is actually quicker than painting bits of a wall, so the extra paint cost is more than offest by the reduced labout cost.
                      But I haven't been to adjudication for years.
                      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


                        #12
                        Thanks for the comments. It's always good to hear others' thoughts. The council tax point is an interesting one as I haven't previously thought of checking that.

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