County Court or TDS / ICE route?

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    County Court or TDS / ICE route?

    I would appreciate any advice on whether we should go the countycourt route or use an ICE from the TDS scheme in a dispute.

    I have had a tenant considerably damage property to more than double the deposit value (I am not including wear & tear items) and have a list of bills coming to nearly £2000 to restore property to original condition including fixtures and fittings replacement etc.

    We have a full (signed) check in inventory showing Brand New / Excellent etc; check out showing damages and the difference, plus all relevant documentary evidence, photo & video evidence and proof that all items, decorations, carpets and fixtures / fittings were new, noting that tenant was the first to rent the property for a tenancy of 6 months.

    In order to mediate and prevent the long drain of the court process or TDS we offered tenant a massive reduction asking for less than half of what we can prove is in fact their liability and that we can prove this, along with a full tight tenancy agreement to further use.

    However tenant is completely unreasonable, has only responded once to our communications and will not accept what is a very fair offer.

    Now that we are going to have to take action I am going to rescind the "without prejudice" offer of asking for less than half of the liable costs due to the fact they are forcing us to take action and put further time into this, along with being completely unreasonable, unresponsive and have not taken the very kind offer we made to make this quick.

    Two questions:
    In your experience, should we go for the full amount of all liability in County court or ICE via TDS?
    I know we can add the cost of action, however ask-Are we allowed to add to these costs our further time (at an hourly rate) in having to deal with this issue as they have not accepted what we feel any Judge or ICE will see is a very reasonable offer?

    Thanks in advance for any input / experience.

    I have heard a very very high % of disputes are being found in the favour of the tenants (85-90%). There could be a number of reasons for this.

    If you have a quality inventory signed by the tenants showing the condition when they took possession i would go through the court, but watch out for betterment


      Go through the courts as, as far as I know, the ADR only covers up to the amount of the deposit held, nothing more.
      If you have receipts and all relevant paperwork, which it appears you do, the court can only award this one way.
      The tenants need to have proof that the property was left pristine or that the AST/inventory did not state what state the property was to be left in. Again you seem to have this under control.
      The court may refer you to their ADR but you do not have to accept this and it is your decision to continue to claim the full amount.
      Hope this goes well and you get what you are owed.


        Originally posted by johnboy View Post
        I have heard a very very high % of disputes are being found in the favour of the tenants (85-90%). There could be a number of reasons for this.
        1) Bias
        2) Bias
        3) Bias
        4) Bias

        Any more ideas?


          Doesnt mean its not true though.


            Court proceedings are better for you IMO. You run a slight risk that judge could penalise on costs if it thinks you should have used the ADR in TDS, however, I think it is reasonable for you to not do that because as sherriffatman says it is limited to the amount of the deposit.

            If you are going to claim through court try to ensure that the final order compels the TDS to release any sums they hold as a partial payment towards the debt (TDS needs this to release)

            You can also claim costs at 2/3 the rate a solicitor would charge if the amount recovered is in excess of £5k. If it is less than £5k then you can claim for the court fee and some very limited costs (£60 or so)
            PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.


              Thanks for your input & advice everyone

              johnboy- the place was completly new refurb, everything was new including whitegoods, kitchen, bathroom, electrics, plumbing, plaster, woodwork & paint etc so no betterment applies I guess- tenants were the 1st in.

              sherrifffatman- the tds has a case study where the landlord had a deposit of 1500 but asked for 759, but was awarded 1500 see here-

              TBH i am shocked that the TDS / ICE route will only allow me the full deposit, I had not realised this and had perceived that we would be awarded the full amount of anything that we were due (providing ten. agreement and inventories back this up etc.) now I feel I can only go the court route. Think I'll call the TDS and confirm this first though, then take some legald advice, thanks


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