Do LLs always agree to follow the dispute resolution from the deposit scheme?

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    Do LLs always agree to follow the dispute resolution from the deposit scheme?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that allowing arbitration through the ADR requires consent from both the tenant and the landlord. Obviously the tenants are likely to prefer this when they do not agree to a given deduction.

    But what prevents a landlord from making a deduction right in the borderline between fair/unfair and then refusing to engage in the ADR process? Under such circumstances, the tenant would be forced to pursue the landlord through the courts, follow the civil code, pay application and hearing court fees, etc. If the deduction is borderline unfair, the tenant would be unlikely to follow this tedious process and the landlord would end up being better off. The courts will also take a much more strict and impartial view to that on an ADR, and worst case scenario the landlord can settle before the hearing and the matter is closed.

    Source for my claim: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ho...-deposit-back/

    If your landlord refuses to use the ADR service

    You'll need to take your landlord to the small claims court to get your money back.


    -----

    So, what gives? Do landlords always use the ADR when the tenant disagrees with the deductions? And if so, what is their incentive against the backdrop I described? Or do they force the matter through the courts?


    #2
    I think some of this is based on some odd assumptions.

    Yes, a landlord (like a tenant) can decline to use ADR and, if there's no resolution to a dispute, the tenant would need to sue their landlord.

    The courts don't seem to be more strict or impartial than ADR and the loser has to pay costs - which given the low value of many deposit disputes is a significant disincentive.
    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
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      I think some of this is based on some odd assumptions.
      The whole premise of my post is that a landlord would only be interested in pursuing a tenant through the courts if he is seeking damages above the value of the deposit.

      Moreover, in the case of deposits under the insurance scheme, the landlord already has the money. Therefore, the tenant has an incentive to settle matters quickly through an ADR -- the opposite is not true for the landlord, IMHO. The landlord can also settle before the hearing and the court never gets involved.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by FairApple View Post

        The whole premise of my post is that a landlord would only be interested in pursuing a tenant through the courts if he is seeking damages above the value of the deposit.

        Moreover, in the case of deposits under the insurance scheme, the landlord already has the money.
        If there is a dispute and the landlord refuses ADR, then the onus is on the landlord to raise a court claim against the tenant. If they don't do so within a set timescale the deposit is returned to the tenant.

        Under the insurance scheme terms, if a dispute is raised, the landlord has to pay in the disputed amount to await resolution.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          The courts don't seem to be more strict or impartial than ADR
          As you know, I disagree. ADR judgement statistics are massively in favour of tenants.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by boletus View Post
            As you know, I disagree. ADR judgement statistics are massively in favour of tenants.
            And I fully accept that we don't really agree on this.
            I'm certainly not trying to change your views or criticise them in any way.

            Personally, I suspect that landlords lose at ADR because most landlord claims that go to ADR are inflated.

            And ADR follows the same process for calculating loss as a court, so you'd expect what happens through ADR to be reflected in court outcomes.

            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


              #7
              A few comments

              Many aspects of adjudication and likely court judgements that do unfairly favour tenants are based on the same assumptions (such as the ludicrous idea that carpets, wall painting etc. last 5 years, and are depreciated over that time, and also the ignoring of secondary costs (if a tenant's child scribbles all over the walls it is not just the cost of painting but three weeks of lost rent). So I see no advantage of court here.

              I agree with jpkeates that there are many inflated claims by a some landlords -- the bias where it happens in the other direction is intrinsic to the process (which is why it is better for honest landlords to charge higher rents and forget deposits). The size of deposits is so insignificant that they do not serve any purpose at all.

              There is a lot that is not good about the whole process despite it's overblown nature -- it does not protect either landlord or tenant.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                There is a lot that is not good about the whole process despite it's overblown nature -- it does not protect either landlord or tenant.
                I essentially treat deposits as an element of the affordability check.

                The deposit companies regularly report how few deductions are actually made.

                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  I suspect that landlords lose at ADR because most landlord claims that go to ADR are inflated.
                  Totally agree.

                  Tenants don't (usually) ask to use the ADR unless they are being 'wronged' by the landlord being overzealous with deductions.

                  You see the same thing in benefits appeals. The majority of FTT decisions favour the claimant and not the DWP, and for the same reason.

                  People go to ADR/tribunal because they are being wronged, and the majority of results going in their favour simply reflects that they are being wronged.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                    Personally, I suspect that landlords lose at ADR because most landlord claims that go to ADR are inflated.
                    I think the bar is set higher for ADR. A successful claim needs a good signed dated inventory, original receipts, date stamped photos, witnesses etc. Effectively beyond reasonable doubt.

                    A court uses balance of probability.

                    I don't think ADR are biased against landlords, just that the framework prevents them making common sense judgements.

                    I doubt I'll change your mind! But do you think ADR would award anything at all for the following video if there were no inventory, date stamped photos etc? Do you think a court would be more likely to use reasonable judgement?

                    https://youtu.be/_WRT8yNFsjs

                    Furthermore, if I were going down this route, the tenant is being a completely unreasonable dick (or AWOL) and the claim will be for a lot more than ADR can award. With the added bonus of a CCJ against them, which ADR obviously doesn't have the power to give.




                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by boletus View Post
                      I think the bar is set higher for ADR. A successful claim needs a good signed dated inventory, original receipts, date stamped photos, witnesses etc. Effectively beyond reasonable doubt.

                      A court uses balance of probability.
                      That's a really interesting perspective.

                      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
                        Originally posted by FairApple View Post

                        The whole premise of my post is that a landlord would only be interested in pursuing a tenant through the courts if he is seeking damages above the value of the deposit.

                        Moreover, in the case of deposits under the insurance scheme, the landlord already has the money. Therefore, the tenant has an incentive to settle matters quickly through an ADR -- the opposite is not true for the landlord, IMHO. The landlord can also settle before the hearing and the court never gets involved.
                        Not generally the case, most deposits are held within the schemes which as we all know are not fit for purpose. You have to use ADR or lose it all. The option of MCOL is generally not available as tenant will have disappeared or have no assets.
                        As most experienced landlords now know, it is better to vet tenants carefully (and personally), set rents high enough to cover potential losses and don't bother with deposits

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Section20z View Post

                          Not generally the case, most deposits are held within the schemes which as we all know are not fit for purpose.
                          ...
                          As most experienced landlords now know, it is better to vet tenants carefully (and personally), set rents high enough to cover potential losses and don't bother with deposits
                          ^^ Exactly that

                          The criterion to be a tenant is that one is amenable to being sued (i.e. has assets), or that one has a reputation that needs preserving.

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