Questions re DPS ADR process

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    Questions re DPS ADR process

    Hello all, I am looking for some advice from anyone who has used the DPS dispute resolution service please.

    1) Is the burden of proof on landlord, tenant or both parties? I've read conflicting information on the DPS website and been told on the phone that is is on both parties.

    2) Do the ADR service provide a reason for their decision? My concern is that if they do not, then how are they accountable, and how does either party know that they didn't just toss a coin or assign an arbitrary amount?

    I am perhaps being a little suspicious, as this is the first time I have made a deduction and it has been disputed. The process doesn't appear to be very transparent.

    Many thanks!

    #2
    The onus is mainly on LL to justify deductions disputed by T. Reasons are not normally provided.

    Comment


      #3
      The landlord has to justify any deductions to show that they arise as either the result of a fair term in the tenancy agreement or are fair compensation for a loss in value to the landlord's property beyond fair wear and tear that happened during the tenant's lease.
      The ADR process isn't particularly transparent, but does seem to follow the legal guidelines.
      The reasons aren't very detailed, and are virtually impossible to appeal against.

      The DPS does provide some case studies to explain how they arrive at their decisions.
      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


        #4
        Thanks for your replies.
        I have one more question.
        Can either party see the other party's submissions of evidence? If not, then what would prevent them from submitting false or misleading evidence? For this reason alone I am tempted to use the small claims court over the ADR service.

        Do all the ADR services work in the same way?

        Many thanks!

        Comment


          #5
          The small claims court (anecdotally) will want to know why you declined arbitration as that is the correct process to follow rather than using the court.

          I think you get to see and respond to what is claimed, don't know if all the services are the same.
          There's not much to stop anyone submitting false evidence (in arbitration or court - in reality) but the adjudicators seem to have seen everything.

          Landlords seem to feel the arbitration process is completely biased against them, tenants slightly less so.
          And probably the same with the small claims court, but most cases there relating to this kind of thing arise from greater issues, as everyone uses the arbitration process.
          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
            Originally posted by remyrobson View Post
            Thanks for your replies.
            I have one more question.
            Can either party see the other party's submissions of evidence? If not, then what would prevent them from submitting false or misleading evidence? For this reason alone I am tempted to use the small claims court over the ADR service.

            Do all the ADR services work in the same way?

            Many thanks!
            The courts will not be pleased if you decline to go through arbitration when it is available without a good reason. If you do have a good reason, by all means, but it need to be a good reason and not just say fear about its process or fairness.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              That's fair enough I suppose. This experience has me questioning the point in taking a deposit anymore. The tenant originally agreed to an under £100, and thoroughly evidenced deduction in writing, and then declined it through DPS repayment process. I'm not sure what they can hope to achieve.

              Comment


                #8
                If the tenant agreed the deduction, the ADR should support that agreement.
                They're not meant to operate as a chance to get something agreed reduced for free.
                It's so easy to launch a dispute and I suspect that many tenants simply think "why not, there's nothing for me to lose and it's a free chance to get a discount".

                Which is the point I'd make when submitting my claim.

                I tend to broadly agree about deposits, they're either a bit of a waste of time or not enough.
                However they do have a hidden value to landlord in that they show the tenant can afford x times the rent at least at one point.
                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


                  #9
                  Thanks for your replies. I have decided to go ahead with ADR, if only for the experience. It certainly isn't for the £££!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    They look mainly at the evidence submitted by the landlord. They will sent this to the tenant for comments and then forward these comments to the landlord. They will review both. You will get a detailed explanation on how they arrive at their decision for each elements of the claim. You can't appeal the decision however, I took it upon myself to raise a complaint when it was evident to me that the adjudicator had totally misrepresented the evidence and provided a very biased report. I based my complaint on their policy and challenged that the adjudicator had not followed due diligence (and no, I have no legal background!).

                    I expected a response along the line of thank you but it is how it is, especially as the money had already been distributed (3/4 to the tenant), but instead a got a response within days to say that the case had been reviewed and they agreed with me, providing extensive apology. As a result, the case was reviewed by a different adjudicator who had no background to the case (so didn't know it had already been adjudicated). To my relief, it came back totally different to the first and indeed in line with what I expected. They refunded me 95% of the deposit (in total). I was very impressed with their response. I have no idea if they sought the difference from the tenant, I expect not.

                    Still my experience shows how arbitrary the process is or maybe I was just very unlucky to get a very tired and frustrated tenant as a trainee solicitor the first time!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Wow! That's a vey interesting story. I had no idea that such things could happen the DPS

                      Comment


                        #12
                        That's really interesting Notyetagain, did you have the opportunity to review the tenant's evidence? I'm concerned the former tenant will be less than honest in their submissions. We have proof of at least 3 blatant lies that they have told, and will submit that evidence to ADR. I'm hoping that we get a sensible adjudicator who can see the tenant for the chancer that they are, your story goes to show that it is the luck of the draw, though!
                        When I spoke to DPS recently, they said we can apply to see tenant's evidence and vice versa, but it must be within the 14 day submission period. It sounds like most people will wait until the last minute to submit their evidence to prevent the other party from doing this.
                        I suppose I shall have to wait and see what happens.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yes, I did have this opportunity, however, instead of challenging my claims, they referred to matters that had nothing to do with the deposit claim, so I don't think any of what was said in the letter was taken into account. I didn't respond to it, just stuck to providing my evidence. I did it in the form of exhibits and put at the top a list of each exhibits and then reference to them in my statement. That was one of the points in my complaint, as it was evident from what the first adjudicator wrote that he had paid no attention to this list of exhibits.

                          I don't recall that I actually asked for what the tenant submitted, I think it was just sent to me. It was two years ago so details are a bit blurry and had to go through it again last month with latest tenants, but this time, they didn't argue and agreed to the return of the whole amount, which they couldn't argue anyway as it was for rent arrears.

                          My advice is: make sure you stick to the points, and organise your evidence so that it is easily referenced. I don't know how many such cases they review, but we can imagine they go over so many days after days that what is not made easy for them is likely to be missed.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for your advice Notyetagain. I think we may be going through the same process. I have been told that the tenant will receive a summary of our evidence, and that we should see a summary of theirs. I can find no mention of this process on the DPS website though. I was under the impression that we both got the same 14 day period, even the paperwork that we were sent to summarise our evidence does not mention this process. I'm having doubts about the DPS now, transparency seems to be lacking when it is most needed. Perhaps it's time to try the TDS.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              https://www.depositprotection.com/do...o-adr-2013.pdf
                              Here it is!

                              Comment

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