DPS not dealing with dispute

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    DPS not dealing with dispute

    We had a tenancy end over a month ago with the tenant leaving quite a big mess behind them; dirty carpets and appliances, missing items, they'd painted the walls (badly) a dark green. We spoke to them about it and said there would be deductions to cover the repainting of two rooms, a full house clean, the missing curtains, blinds and a few other bits including the sofa; they had put the landlords sofa into 'storage', when it came back it was damp and mouldy, apparently it had been stored in a friends shed with no cover' it was delivered back to the house on a roof rack in the rain!!. The cleaners shook their head and said there was no way it could be cleaned succesfully, even Chemdry said no.

    The tenants aren't the brightest people in fairness so we advised them to get some independent advice regarding the issues, we made a fair wear and tear assessment and reduced the claim accordingly bringing it down to £600. they had been in the property 18 months; it had been newly refurbished when they moved in; new kitchen, bathroom, decor, carpets, fittings etc. The sofa was 6 months old.

    The inventory records the condition of the property accurately, they agreed and signed it. The tenancy agreement covers all that is needed to be done. the deposit is protected in the DPS, the correct prescribed information and t&c's had been issued and signed for.

    The tenants have been told by their adviser that all of this is wear and tear!! also, as they bought their own sofa 3 months into the tenancy, the landlord should have moved his so is responsible for what happened to his - the first we new that the landlords sofa had been removed was during an inspection at around the 6 months mark; they confirmed it was in safe storage. We advised then that if it wasn't they would be liable.

    All of this is backed up by email or letter. They dispute all dedutions; not sure who their 'adviser' is but he/she is mad if they think this is wear and tear.

    We tried to negotiate with them when they left but they wouldn't budge, they refused to give us a forwarding address so it had to be via telephone or email; in the end they stopped replying or taking our calls.

    We logged onto DPS to unprotect the deposit. The tenants didn't respond or log in (they had the details to do so)

    So we started the single claim process with the DPS. Get the form completed, signed off by a solicitor and send it back to them with all the documents. 3 weeks later we get an email from DPS saying the tenant has logged in and has rejected the proposal so we had to log in again or negotiate with the tenant. We spoke to DPS and said we had already started the single claim process; they said that as the tenant had responded albeit 4 weeks late, they had cancelled the single claim process!!

    So we had to log in again and repeat the process and wait for the tenant to log in. They did and rejected it again. Same email again from DPS. We have now gone round the same roundabout 4 times; each time we have selected the 'We are happy for this to go to ADR' option.

    We complained that this was going nowhere but DPS say we must follow the process; we replied we had so they then told us it would be easier if we negotiated with the tenant!! I pointed out that if the tenant was willing to do that we probably wouldn't be having this discussion, they just said complete the online form again.

    Trying to get through to a manager there is impossible, they are very resilient to any request to speak to someone higher up and the best you get is a team leader, so I have been looking for some clue as to the rules they have to abide by? They operate the scheme but they must have some sort of contract with the government to operate it in a certain way? I suspect it won't be in the public domain but if anyone has ever come across it I would appreciate a pointer.
    My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

    #2
    The DPS have their hands tied, as the tenant doesn't have to agree to use their ADR process.

    As it's the tenants money, they are free to have it limbo until infinity in my opinion, unless you take them to court and get a judge to rule in your favour, and order the DPS to release the funds to you.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      I would be interested to know how they could be taken to court without knowing their address.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by 8086 View Post
        I would be interested to know how they could be taken to court without knowing their address.
        We'd have to use Findermonkey to find them first obviously.
        My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by oaktree View Post
          We'd have to use Findermonkey to find them first obviously.
          I didn't know about findermonkey, cheers.

          I wonder if they do actually go beyond looking up the electoral roll etc. Anyway I'll get out of your thread now!

          Comment


            #6
            This is precisely the reason that I don't take deposits --> No need to protect. Other landlords I know are now doing the same. Deposit protection was a labour "lefty" initiative made by those who don't have real life experiences such as yours. Deposits work fine for "well groomed" tenants where no or little deposit deduction is necessary (Ah those were the days when you could just dust and vacuum when they left).

            I take as big an admin fee as I can, a VERY thorough inventory and schedule of condition and seek recompense for dilapidations through the courts. You might find this advice useful.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 8086 View Post
              I didn't know about findermonkey, cheers.

              I wonder if they do actually go beyond looking up the electoral roll etc. Anyway I'll get out of your thread now!
              I can't recommend Findermonkey enough; they've never failed us yet using all sorts of ways to trace a tenant
              My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

              Comment

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