No response from LA re deposit, TDS's view?

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    No response from LA re deposit, TDS's view?

    I moved out of my rental property nearly two months ago. I have chased the letting agent but the only reply is that the landlord is abroad at the moment and therefore difficult to get hold of so they are still waiting for instructions.
    I think TDS has a 3 month cut off whereby you have to submit a dispute?
    If I have not heard anything in a couple of weeks I was going to go through TDS in order to get some progress.

    My question is, if I have no idea if there are any deductions proposed, how will the TDS view this if the letting agent suggests some at the dispute stage?! It's hard to provide evidence for disputes when I don't know if I am disputing anything!

    Any advice from those who know how TDS work would be appreciated.

    #2
    Im unfamiliar with the TDS, but with DPS if LL has not submitted a deposit deduction claim/proposal within 14 days of written notice then tenant is awarded the deposit in full. This reflects the standard position that the deposit is the tenants money and it is up to the LL to produce evidence if he wishes to make a claim on it.

    Unfortunately, it seems that TDS is an insurance backed scheme (which means your LL holds your money right now and not them).

    Id speak to the TDS and see if there is a process/procedure similar to the above. I doubt there is much they can do if the LL is uncontactable. So, in the absence of that, I suggest you send a LBA to LL giving him 7 days to either submit a proposal for deductions or return the deposit in full. Point out this will incur court costs, legal fees and potentially HCEO fees. If he doesnt return the deposit then proceed down the MCOL/SCC route.

    Its not your fault your LL is abroad and in any event hes had more than enough time to get this sorted.

    Comment


      #3
      Are you 100% sure that you are correct in saying that the landlord has 14 days to make a claim against the deposit. This is not what I was told when I rang the DPS for advice last week. I released immediately £900 of an £1100 deposit. I witheld £200 for damages and cleaning. The tenant does not agree with this deduction.

      I asked the DPS what I should do ñext and was told "nothing". They said it was up to the tenant to raise a dispute then they would write to me and I would then have to provide proof that my claim for £200 was valid. Now I am concerned that I have been given the wrong information and may have to return the £200 because I have not followed the correct procedure. Regards, Pat

      Comment


        #4
        Amber the agent should have done a final inspection within 21 days and should have sent you a formal letter telling you of any deductions they propose. If this is not done then you as the tenant should be returned the full deposit. Unlike the DPS the TDS has a 3 month period of dispute thus you should be in touch with them as soon as possible.

        Patray if you have informed the tenant of the deductions within the 21 days of the lease terminating then it is up to the tenant to take it up with the DPS. So they were correct in telling you to do nothing.

        Comment


          #5
          Just to clarify however, the TDS do not accept disputes till at least 10 days after the end of the tenancy as they prefer the LL to negotiate it with the tenant first

          Comment


            #6
            patray,

            The details I posted relate to the 'single claim process' which seemed more relevant to this situation given that LL is uncontactable. If you are conversing with tenant and proposing deductions then you will be in the 'joint claim process' instead.

            If you are in the custodial scheme, Im pretty certain that the £200 will not be paid out by DPS to you until one of the following happens

            i) Tenant logs in/phones the DPS and accepts the deductions and agrees to release the £200 to you (unlikely given what you have said)
            ii) You and the Tenant both agree to ADR and you go through that process and 'win'
            iii) You obtain a court order ordering the DPS to release the deposit to you

            If T does not agree to ADR then the only way the DPS will release ANY money is via court order. If T does agree to go through ADR then there is a process:

            Firstly, LL has 14 days to provide evidence of his claims (no evidence = no award since in law the money belongs to T).
            Then, T has 14 days to review LLs evidence and provide his own evidence
            Finally, LL has 10 days to respond to Ts submissions before the evidence is sent to an adjudicator.

            Whilst you will not have to give the £200 back because you havent followed the correct procedure, you should realise that if you 'do nothing' the money will remain with the DPS and will not automatically be deposited with yourself (unless T agrees as stated previously).

            The insured scheme is a little different because you retain the money, but if T wishes you must still provide proof to the DPS via the ADR process if he so wishes. Of course, you could refuse to use the ADR process but Im fairly certain if T pursued through the courts a judge would not look favourably on that action....

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you both for your replies, Pat

              Comment

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