Clarity with single claim process with DPS

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    Clarity with single claim process with DPS

    Circumstances are:
    Fixed term AST running out on 20/08. Tenants left end of June, informed of surrender by text. Keys left in property left emptied.

    Now claiming for full deposit on account of rent unpaid -failed to pay last month they were still in the property- and want to be sure I am understanding the Single Claim Process properly.

    It states that it can be used if landlord has no current address or tenant fails to respond to landlord written notice within 14 calendar day of the end of tenancy. Is this 14 days from written notice received, or 14 days from end of tenancy?

    Can I assume that using the tenant email address (with letter attached) is acceptable for the purpose of providing formal written notice?

    I don't expect to hear back from tenant, so will then have to start the Single Claim Process. It states 'to use the SCP, the landlord must provide the DPS with a Statutory Declaration at least 14 days after the tenancy has ended. Am I reading this properly that it means I need to wait until AFTER 14 days of the end date of the tenancy to START the Single Claim Process?

    So does it mean that if I write on 19th informing of intention to claim the full deposit, I have to wait until 3rd September to then start the Single Claim Process? Just want to get my dates right as unfortunately, I'm away abroad from 27/8 to 3/9.

    #2
    Originally posted by Notyetagain View Post
    after the tenancy has ended. Am I reading this properly that it means I need to wait until AFTER 14 days of the end date of the tenancy to START the Single Claim Process?
    Yes, that's it.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      If they told you by text they were leaving does that not become the end date of the tenancy?
      I had a similar situation but in my case the tenants gave the keys to next door as well as texting me. I started Single claim asap without waiting for the end of the original contract, got a declaration witnessed by local solicitor for £20 and deposit was returned in full without quibble.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks again jp.

        Charlie, that's interesting. Their leaving early didn't end the tenancy as it was a fixed AST but I was indeed told by a Letting Agent that in the circumstances of an early surrender, you could indeed claim the deposit earlier. It did confuse me as on DPS website, they say that you can't start a claim until 14 days after end of tenancy and I wasn't in a rush to claim, I thought I'd leave it until then.

        I read though that getting a declaration should only be charged at £5!

        Comment


          #5
          It's very difficult to know when a tenancy actually ends.
          The tenant has offered to surrender and you seem to have accepted.
          That should end the tenancy - but the fixed term makes that less than 100% certain.
          But I'd say it was ended when the tenant quit, gave you the keys back and you took possession.

          As an example of why this is a pain... if you serve a s21 notice and the tenant moves out as requested, the tenancy doesn't just end.
          While I think there's an implied surrender went the tenant moves out, which the landlord has somehow pre accepted, there's not a lot that supports me.
          On the other hand, there are hundreds of s21 notices every week, and most (?) of the tenants move out and everyone acts as though the tenancy has ended,
          And if the landlord and tenant both act as if it's ended, it might as well have ended.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            notyetagain....it may well have cost £5, it's a few years ago, I just remember it wa a nominal fee.
            jpkeates that is an interesting point about ending tenancy.
            So what does categorically end a tenancy?

            Comment


              #7
              Sorry I should have made my posts clearer. I did not accept their surrendering the property on the date they left. I wrote to them (proof of postage) and made this very clear. I have now written to them to say that I take their actions as having surrendered the property and therefore the tenancy ending on the end date of the fixed term.

              Just to add, I haven't taken possession of the place yet.

              Comment


                #8
                While I understand that you are legally allowed to do this as you have no duty to mitigate your loss in the fixed term, I think I would probably have compromised and negotiated rent payment only until I had managed to re-let and then taken possession at the earliest opportunity. I would prefer to get rent from a new tenant at the earliest opportunity rather than risking the old tenant not paying up.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I totally agree DPT57, but in this case, the tenants played to our goodwill. They gave us a sob story about not being able to pay June's rent and asked to pay it at the end of the month instead. We chose to believe them and agreed. On the day that rent was due, we instead got a nasty text to say they'd left. We then discovered that they had been receiving HB and pocketed in instead of paying their rent, so unsurprisingly, we didn't feel overly keen to make their lives easier at this stage. As we decided to refurbish the place, we needed time to make arrangements, so wouldn't have been in a position to rent again right away anyway.

                  Comment

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