TDSL is unjust in dispute resolution and won't see sense

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  • TDSL is unjust in dispute resolution and won't see sense

    My blood is boiling, so excuse me if my prose is a bit shakey!

    We've been members of TDSL since the scheme opened and recently had our first dispute. They completey screwed it up initially (lost the paperwork & found against us by default for not supplying the paperwork and then had to backtrack when I produced proof of delivery and secured admission of receipt from a hapless staff member), but surprisingly that's NOT my complaint - it's much worse.

    When we finally received the adjudication it was accompanied by a curt letter explaining that it was final and that no further correspondence would be entered into. We'd supplied a video inventory with our evidence showing that pristine condition of the property prior to letting and they accepted this. During the tenancy the tenant had spilt something on a carpet and had ruined the decor in a couple of rooms by letting mould build up because she dried washing indoors.

    However (and this is the humdinger), TDSL found against us because we had not supplied any evidence that the tenant's acts or omissions caused the mould or the staining!!!! Short of having CCTV in the house 24/7 how the HELL COULD WE???

    How on earth is any landlord supposed to win a dispute? Has anyone any thoughts on what we did wrong (if anything), any similar experiences to us, or any suggestions for the future?

    I really, really, do not want to renew our membership with TDSL.

  • #2
    Originally posted by m&m View Post
    My blood is boiling, so excuse me if my prose is a bit shakey!

    We've been members of TDSL since the scheme opened and recently had our first dispute. They completey screwed it up initially (lost the paperwork & found against us by default for not supplying the paperwork and then had to backtrack when I produced proof of delivery and secured admission of receipt from a hapless staff member), but surprisingly that's NOT my complaint - it's much worse.

    When we finally received the adjudication it was accompanied by a curt letter explaining that it was final and that no further correspondence would be entered into. We'd supplied a video inventory with our evidence showing that pristine condition of the property prior to letting and they accepted this. During the tenancy the tenant had spilt something on a carpet and had ruined the decor in a couple of rooms by letting mould build up because she dried washing indoors.

    However (and this is the humdinger), TDSL found against us because we had not supplied any evidence that the tenant's acts or omissions caused the mould or the staining!!!! Short of having CCTV in the house 24/7 how the HELL COULD WE???

    How on earth is any landlord supposed to win a dispute? Has anyone any thoughts on what we did wrong (if anything), any similar experiences to us, or any suggestions for the future?

    I really, really, do not want to renew our membership with TDSL.
    Sounds like a monumental cock-up, doesn't it.

    Did tenants dispute that they had caused the stain?

    Did you have photographic evidence of it?

    Sounds alarming, I agree.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      We had photographic and video evidence which TDSL accepted. The tenant admitted she dried washing indoors, but said she opened windows when she did it (and this was enough for TDSL apparently). She denied staining the carpet!

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      • #4
        It is wrong that you cannot challenge the TSD's rulings.

        How much money is in dispute? Could you sue her through a normal court for it? There has been a bit of discussion about that recently. Unfortunately, I think that if you have agreed to the TDS's 'binding' arbitration, you wouldn't get very far.

        Sounds really unjust.

        I use the DPS, but I haven't had cause to dispute a deposit's return yet. I wonder whether they are any better?

        Does anyone have first-hand experience of their arbitration service?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          A report from a damp proofing company confirming no rising/penatrating damp would help i would think ?

          Also an opinion from them as " experts" as to the cause.

          You say they have been drying washing - can you prove it ?
          A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
          W.Churchill

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          • #6
            I used to be an adjudicator for TDSL and agree that the system has too many flaws; that's why I was no longer required as I challenged some of their 'procedures' - an unwise decision ultimately.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
              A report from a damp proofing company confirming no rising/penatrating damp would help i would think ?

              Also an opinion from them as " experts" as to the cause.
              Unless the damp has caused hundreds/thousands of pounds' worth of damage, it probably would not be worth paying for such a report, even If the TDSL accepted it. And presumably it is too late to commission it now anyway.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                I used to be an adjudicator for TDSL and agree that the system has too many flaws; that's why I was no longer required as I challenged some of their 'procedures' - an unwise decision ultimately.
                Hi

                That's interesting. Can you tell us more?

                Preston

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                • #9
                  It would take far, far too long to even begin to explain.
                  The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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                  • #10
                    But surely the point with the whole thing is that it's irrelevant whether the tenant personally caused the stain on the carpet or the mould or whether it was the action of her children or guests or whoever? The fact is that these things happened whilst the property was under her care. Am I being obtuse?

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                    • #11
                      As I have posted before, because of the lack of housing law knowledge by many arbiters coupled with the requirement to sign to accept the arbiters decision as final, where deposit protection disputes are involved NO LANDLORD/AGENT SHOULD EVER AGREE TO ARBITRATION.

                      If the landlord/agent does not agree to ADR, then the tenant has to use the normal court procedure.

                      There are three compelling reasons for landlords/agents not to use ADR
                      1. ADR is a very easy system for tenants to use - and its free. When push comes to shove, many tenants in dispute can't be arsed to make a claim in the county court, besides it costing them the court fee unless exempt.
                      2. Should a claim be made in the county court, landlords/agents can be reasonably confident that the judge has working knowledge of housing law.
                      3. Should the tenant not make a claim in the county court, despite letters to them from whichever TDS scheme has been used, the full disputed deposit will eventually be paid back to the landlord/agent.

                      At the risk of repetition, NEVER USE ADR
                      Last edited by Esio Trot; 13-03-2009, 19:42 PM. Reason: wrong punctuation
                      On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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                      • #12
                        OK, I wont use them, but just one little question, are these disputes decided by someone who has at least a modicum of knowledge of housing law? Or is it whichever Tracey or Sharon picks up the paperwork that decides the case?
                        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                          It would take far, far too long to even begin to explain.
                          Try us. We're listening. We'd like to know.
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Esio Trot View Post
                            As I have posted before, because of the lack of housing law knowledge by many arbiters, coupled with the requirement to sign to accept the arbiters decision as final, where deposit protection disputes are involved NO LANDLORD/AGENT SHOULD EVER AGREE TO ARBITRATION.

                            etc etc
                            I'd agree with that statement wholeheartedly.

                            I know of an agent who (so he could decide on company policy in such circumstances) has asked the TDS bodies on several occasions to give an indication of the qualifications and adjudicative experience of the arbitrators, but he hasn't even received a response to any of his letters. I think that says it all.

                            Chances are the arbitrators are a bunch of hastily trained lay people meddling in a discipline they don't understand.



                            Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                            I used to be an adjudicator for TDSL....
                            Why am I not surprised by that statement?

                            LMAO: I only saw the quoted passage after posting the above comments on the likely background of the adjudicators. It proves my hypothesis beyond doubt!


                            Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                            ....that's why I was no longer required as I challenged some of their 'procedures' - an unwise decision ultimately.
                            Who was unwise?

                            (1) Was it unwise of you to challenge them, because it led to your untimely demise?

                            or,

                            (2) Was it unwise of them to remove you from your duties, because,

                            (a) It robbed TDSL of your Lord Denning-esque judicial wisdom?

                            or,

                            (b) You are plotting to wreak some form of ingenious and bloody revenge on TDSL for failing to recognise your unique genius? (the words "an unwise decision, ultimately" could sound quite sinister and threatening in the right context - even more so if you dressed up as an evil criminal mastermind in a manner similar to eg: The Joker)
                            Health Warning


                            I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                            All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by agent46 View Post
                              I'd agree with that statement wholeheartedly.

                              I know of an agent who (so he could decide on company policy in such circumstances) has asked the TDS bodies on several occasions to give an indication of the qualifications and adjudicative experience of the arbitrators, but he hasn't even received a response to any of his letters. I think that says it all.
                              So given that! Even though a paper has been signed to accept the decision, if the parties believe there to have been a mistake in law, could the decision be challenged? ( I think 'set aside' is the phrase)
                              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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