TDS Arbitration or County Court?

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  • Scoop
    replied
    Can we take guarantor to court?

    Thank you everyone for your previous help, something else has now come to light which I would like clarified please.

    While having work undertaken on the property lots of the ex tenants personal papers were discovered in the recycling bin that indicates this person is highly unlikely to be able to or likely to pay even if the court rules in our favour.

    The tenant had a guarantor so it is possible we can bypass the tenant and take the guarantor to court instead or can we take them both to court?

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    Before jumping in head first I just want to check if it makes any difference if we live overseas. My partner is the landlord and due to work commitments he may not be able to get released from work to travel back to the UK for a court hearing. Does he have to attend or could I attend on his behalf?
    Assuming you are not legally qualified, then only if you get permission from the court. And you are not allowed to sign anything on behalf of your partner (the claimant).

    Alternatively, a solicitor/barrister may represent your partner.

    Your partner must give an address for service in England/Wales.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoop
    replied
    Thank you for all the advice.

    Before jumping in head first I just want to check if it makes any difference if we live overseas. My partner is the landlord and due to work commitments he may not be able to get released from work to travel back to the UK for a court hearing. Does he have to attend or could I attend on his behalf?

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    After initially saying they are taking us to court for the deposit our tenant has now changed their mind and is wanting to go to TDS arbitration.

    After getting some advice on here we think we are right in our decision to go to court.

    I have seen tenants being advised to serve a letter before action. Is the same thing advisable for landlords and if so is there a template anywhere that we should follow?
    Anyone intending to issue a claim must send a letter before action first. You don't need a template, just list the items/costs claimed in reasonable detail (so T is left in no doubt as to what you are claiming and why), give a deadline to pay (14 days is plenty), and say that if you don't receive payment by that date you will issue a claim in the county court.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoop
    replied
    Taking tenant to court etiquette

    After initially saying they are taking us to court for the deposit our tenant has now changed their mind and is wanting to go to TDS arbitration.

    After getting some advice on here we think we are right in our decision to go to court.

    I have seen tenants being advised to serve a letter before action. Is the same thing advisable for landlords and if so is there a template anywhere that we should follow?

    Leave a comment:


  • mop121
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    This is exactly what the tenant is trying to claim. I can see what they have tried to achieve as they have used the sort of colours and feature walls that are in fashion at the moment but the way they have applied it is just unacceptable.

    They were told in the covering letter with the section 21 that the property needed to be in the same condition as at the start taking into account fair wear and tear yet they are still arguing that we told them previously it was ok. The fact that they are using the guarantor as a witness is just a joke.
    It wont stand up in court, hard written evidence is required. If I was the tenant I would be fearful that the LL is taking me to court. You have a AST, what do they have...hot air!

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  • Scoop
    replied
    Originally posted by westminster View Post
    Claim via the county court. I think you're more likely to get a fair result than adjudication/ADR - they may well side with the T's version of events and regard the redecoration as 'improvements' (when we both know that poor redecoration is equivalent to damage.
    This is exactly what the tenant is trying to claim. I can see what they have tried to achieve as they have used the sort of colours and feature walls that are in fashion at the moment but the way they have applied it is just unacceptable.

    They were told in the covering letter with the section 21 that the property needed to be in the same condition as at the start taking into account fair wear and tear yet they are still arguing that we told them previously it was ok. The fact that they are using the guarantor as a witness is just a joke.

    Leave a comment:


  • mop121
    replied
    his talking sense, makes alot of sense.

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    I am inclined to prefer to go to County Court to claim this money as I have heard of TDS leaning in favour of tenants and also the amount involved is higher than the deposit so we would have to go to court for the extra money anyway.

    I keep being reminded by the agent however that a judge could decide to not look at the case because we haven't used the arbitration service available to us first.
    Claim via the county court. I think you're more likely to get a fair result than adjudication/ADR - they may well side with the T's version of events and regard the redecoration as 'improvements' (when we both know that poor redecoration is equivalent to damage). Also, adjudication is paper-based - you don't get the opportunity to argue your case properly. It will be far more obvious that the T is lying if he is questioned by a judge. And obviously, judges are far better acquainted with law than any adjudicator.

    The fact that your loss exceeds the deposit amount is a valid explanation for not going via adjudication (and I've never read of a case being thrown out because a party refused adjudication).

    I have emails to myself and copies of letters and emails to the letting agent from the tenant at the start of the tenancy to say they were very happy with the property. I also have all the correspondance relating to the fake bills they were trying to get us to reimburse them for and the utility bills in our name for part of their tenancy period as they lied to the utility company about the dates they moved in and out of the property. I am currently obtaining the bills from the cleaning company the previous tenant used to get the rugs cleaned which were some of the items disposed of for being foisty even though the tenant has admitted to leaving them in the shed during the winter which led to them becoming mouldy.

    Would the arbitration or judge take into consideration evidence such as this to discredit the word of the tenant or am I going to have to rely solely on the tenancy agreement and inventory?
    Emails, letters, bills etc etc - all valid evidence. Again, I think you're better off in the county court as the court is more likely to take into consideration things which undermine the T's credibility as a witness, such as the evidence of his dishonesty.

    Leave a comment:


  • mop121
    replied
    yep proof of postage would be required to make it stick.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoop
    replied
    From past experience with this tenant it wouldn't surprise me if they start writing up copies of letters they are supposed to have sent us. Would they be required to show proof of postage for them?

    Leave a comment:


  • mop121
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    The tenant never mentioned any of these things either verbally or in writing at any time during the tenancy.

    It was only once they received the check out report that they started making these claims.
    In that case your word against theirs,the TDS will ask for hard evidence as proof, if they say they raised all this stuff but have no proof and you have the AST and inventory signed, they dont really have a leg to stand on.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoop
    replied
    The tenant never mentioned any of these things either verbally or in writing at any time during the tenancy.

    It was only once they received the check out report that they started making these claims.

    Leave a comment:


  • mop121
    replied
    Originally posted by Scoop View Post
    We recently had tenants leave who were on a AST and the deposit was protected with TDS. The tenant has now left and there is a dispute over the amount of dilapidations we have claimed which exceeds the deposit.

    The tenant signed an inventory at the start of the tenancy and agreed with everything on there.

    Now they have moved out and want the deposit back it has become a very different version of events from the tenant. They have started making accusations as to the condition of the property and items on the inventory saying they had to dispose of things as they were dirty, smelly, broken, a health & safety issue etc. You name it there is an excuse for everything on the list.

    They also decorated the whole property without permission and the standard is not acceptable. They are claiming they have a witness (who happens to be their guarantor) who heard us say we liked the decor and we were happy with it.

    During the tenancy it came to light that the tenants weren't exactly trustworthy when they tried to get us to reimburse them for non-existent bills, hence them getting their section 21.

    I am inclined to prefer to go to County Court to claim this money as I have heard of TDS leaning in favour of tenants and also the amount involved is higher than the deposit so we would have to go to court for the extra money anyway.

    I keep being reminded by the agent however that a judge could decide to not look at the case because we haven't used the arbitration service available to us first.

    I have emails to myself and copies of letters and emails to the letting agent from the tenant at the start of the tenancy to say they were very happy with the property. I also have all the correspondance relating to the fake bills they were trying to get us to reimburse them for and the utility bills in our name for part of their tenancy period as they lied to the utility company about the dates they moved in and out of the property. I am currently obtaining the bills from the cleaning company the previous tenant used to get the rugs cleaned which were some of the items disposed of for being foisty even though the tenant has admitted to leaving them in the shed during the winter which led to them becoming mouldy.

    Would the arbitration or judge take into consideration evidence such as this to discredit the word of the tenant or am I going to have to rely solely on the tenancy agreement and inventory?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    If they decorated the house without your permission in writing, regardless verbal or not as its your word against theirs it will not standup. Your AST will say they cannot go making changes without your consent, I would present that to the TDS, if the tenant just argues it was verbal you have the AST to back you up.

    Also did they put any of the complaints in writing, text message? I make it clear with my tenants if you have an issue put it in writing. for example my tenant told me a while back the shower curtain was broken by text, I replied back and said I will fix it and then went round 2 days later as agreed and did the job and got him to sign a letter saying job completed and his was happy with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scoop
    started a topic TDS Arbitration or County Court?

    TDS Arbitration or County Court?

    We recently had tenants leave who were on a AST and the deposit was protected with TDS. The tenant has now left and there is a dispute over the amount of dilapidations we have claimed which exceeds the deposit.

    The tenant signed an inventory at the start of the tenancy and agreed with everything on there.

    Now they have moved out and want the deposit back it has become a very different version of events from the tenant. They have started making accusations as to the condition of the property and items on the inventory saying they had to dispose of things as they were dirty, smelly, broken, a health & safety issue etc. You name it there is an excuse for everything on the list.

    They also decorated the whole property without permission and the standard is not acceptable. They are claiming they have a witness (who happens to be their guarantor) who heard us say we liked the decor and we were happy with it.

    During the tenancy it came to light that the tenants weren't exactly trustworthy when they tried to get us to reimburse them for non-existent bills, hence them getting their section 21.

    I am inclined to prefer to go to County Court to claim this money as I have heard of TDS leaning in favour of tenants and also the amount involved is higher than the deposit so we would have to go to court for the extra money anyway.

    I keep being reminded by the agent however that a judge could decide to not look at the case because we haven't used the arbitration service available to us first.

    I have emails to myself and copies of letters and emails to the letting agent from the tenant at the start of the tenancy to say they were very happy with the property. I also have all the correspondance relating to the fake bills they were trying to get us to reimburse them for and the utility bills in our name for part of their tenancy period as they lied to the utility company about the dates they moved in and out of the property. I am currently obtaining the bills from the cleaning company the previous tenant used to get the rugs cleaned which were some of the items disposed of for being foisty even though the tenant has admitted to leaving them in the shed during the winter which led to them becoming mouldy.

    Would the arbitration or judge take into consideration evidence such as this to discredit the word of the tenant or am I going to have to rely solely on the tenancy agreement and inventory?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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