Using the Small Claims Court after DPS deposit dispute decision

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    Using the Small Claims Court after DPS deposit dispute decision

    Hi All,

    I have recently received the DPS decision on a deposit dispute that I had with the tenant. I am shocked by the low amount that I have been awarded and I am severely out of pocket by the amount I had to spend to get the property back into a good condition.

    I wanted to see if I go can now go after the tenant for the rest of the deposit and the other costs associated with repairing the property? I was unable to go through the small claims court in the beginning because it says that you cannot use this service for a deposit dispute - This is why I went through the dispute with the DPS, but now I have the decision, can I now go through the small claims court, to get what I am rightfully owed?

    Thanks for your help!

    #2
    Yes, use MCOL and make sure you add to all the appalling reviews of DPS on trustpilot to counteract all the paid for fake five star ones !
    Time these crooks were put out of busines.

    Comment


      #3
      Okay thank you. So things like professional cleaner bill etc which they highlighted in their decision, should be put on the small court claim?

      I have noticed on the DPS that their decision is 'legally binding' - I not sure if they are just trying to scare you off?!

      Comment


        #4
        My understanding is the the deposit schemes and the courts use the same process to settle claims, which is basically to award you the amount that can be supported by your evidence. If you dont have a detailed condition report from the start of the tenancy, preferably accompanied by photos, then I wouldnt waste your time and money on a further claim.

        Comment


          #5
          As I understand it, the arbitration is instead of court action, and the documentation should have made this clear. You didn't have to agree to use it.
          You can appeal if legal errors were made, but you can't do anything if you just don't like the decision.

          Comment


            #6
            I see that you seem to have tried to charge for 'professional' (whatever that means) cleaning.

            That's an illegal fee, you can't charge a tenant for that, so it's no surprise that it was rejected.
            MCOL will also reject it.

            How many of your other claimed expenses were either illegal fees or unreasonable?

            I'm with the others, I wouldn't waste time or money on something you are not going to win.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nukecad View Post
              I see that you seem to have tried to charge for 'professional' (whatever that means) cleaning.

              That's an illegal fee, you can't charge a tenant for that, so it's no surprise that it was rejected.
              MCOL will also reject it.
              I think this is only illegal if you specify at the outset that it must be done. To ask for the property to be left in a clean condition, and if it isn't to pay or someone to clean it & charge the tenant the fee, is not.

              Certainly my understanding is DPS if you are claiming less than the deposit, MCOL if more, but you can't switch from one to the other if you don't like the decision.

              Comment


                #8
                No, you can specify that the property must be returned in the same condition that it was at the begining of the tenancy but you can't charge a tenant for 'profession cleaning'.

                You are advised not to put it in a TA because it's ilegal an so an invalid clause.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Btret View Post
                  Okay thank you. So things like professional cleaner bill etc which they highlighted in their decision, should be put on the small court claim?

                  I have noticed on the DPS that their decision is 'legally binding' - I not sure if they are just trying to scare you off?!
                  Of course you can claim for professional cleaning, just as you would for decorating or repairs , it's whatever cost you are out of pocket. The legally binding bit just means you can't appeal the DPS decision (which you have no choice but agree to when you use their service!).
                  The tenant has left you out of pocket and you have a legal right to pursue that however you wish.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The point is that you are not claiming for a "professional clean" as "required by contract" or whatever. You would be claiming for the cost of putting the property back to its original condition as required by the contract less reasonable wear and tear.

                    If a tenant say left the bathroom really bad but the rest of the place spotless, you wouldn't be awarded cost of cleaning the entire property just because you went with a cleaner that charges by the property for example.

                    A landlord have legal right to pursue damages loss from breach of contract by the tenant. A landlord can choose not to agree to arbitration. A landlord can attempt to bring the same claim to court that was decided in arbitration, but the landlord will lose as soon as the tenant submit a defence that the issue was already previously decided in binding arbitration.
                    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by KTC View Post
                      . A landlord can attempt to bring the same claim to court that was decided in arbitration, but the landlord will lose as soon as the tenant submit a defence that the issue was already previously decided in binding arbitration.
                      You may be right but I'm not sure it's necessarily true as it's not arbitration but DPS own dispute resolution and is limited to the deposit return and any losses beyond that ought to still be recoverable.
                      Personally, if the ex tenant was traceable and has funds then I would start MCOL, worst that can happen is you lose £45 if tenant defends it

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Btret View Post
                        I am severely out of pocket by the amount I had to spend to get the property back into a good condition.
                        You’re entitled to compensation for a loss that was not in contemplation when the contract was agreed, and that loss has to be kept to a minimum. In practice that means that a charge for cleaning, for example, would need to be adjusted to reflect any of the work that would be expected to happen inevitably as a result of people living in a property for the amount of time that they did.

                        So the chances of ever recovering the amount you actually spent aren’t great.

                        Usually the decision is accompanied by some kind of explanation, which is likely to be set out on the same basis that a court would use.

                        I was unable to go through the small claims court in the beginning because it says that you cannot use this service for a deposit dispute.
                        Thats not correct.
                        You’re not meant to use the service when there’s a claim for a penalty about an unprotected deposit.

                        The issue you will face is that, when you agreed to arbitration/dispute resolution, you agreed to be bound by the outcome. So, really, you’d have to take action against the deposit company, the tenant’s simply done what you both agreed you would do and should use that as a defence.

                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                          but DPS own dispute resolution and is limited to the deposit return and any losses beyond that ought to still be recoverable.
                          Sure, but that "any losses beyond that" mean claims that wasn't or can't be adjudicated under the ADR, not ADR awarded me £50 when I spent £200 so I'd go to court for the other £150 for example.
                          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                          Comment

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