How do I answer inflamatory dispute?

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    Start the dispute process and supply information as requested by the arbitration service.
    Keep it nice and factual and provide evidence of what you say.
    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).


      As you say it is defense case therefore should I point out all the anomalies the landlord has written? eg including missing roof tiles - we can show the roof has one cracked we had the roof photographed the day we checked out.
      This is irrelevant. The onus will be on the landlord to make his claim and provide evidence. No evidence, no money for him. The only thing you need to do is provide your evidence to his specific claims, ie. carpet, point out that they were already very used and show copy of the invoice for the professional cleaning. Garden, provide your picture and explained the reason why you didn't trim the bush. Doors, say you accept an element of damage that was W&T but say that you believe the doors were only worth X.


        Thanks everyone I feel much calmer and more prepared now.

        Keep in factual, simple, evidenced and to the point seems the summary.
        Will post the outcome


          Well I wrote to the Letting Agent and have the following reply:
          "Clearly you have suffered no loss and therefore I would ask what you would regard as a fair and reasonable level of compensation as a single payment"

          I thought this wasn't about loss and compensation but penalty and sanction??

          Anyways I am now trying to decide what to suggest.
          My thoughts are this is a BIG reputable LA in our region, high level housing etc. so if they went to court their defence would be along the lines of we do thousands of these and this is a one off.

          But they are not a landlord with a single property or a landlord with many they represent the professional (qualified body)

          So given they are not a Landlord at least twice the deposit but given it was 11 months into a 24 month contract and they effectively had our money for free .... nearer the 3x .....

          Any ideas?



            As a matter of course ask for the most, 3 x. Then if they dispute it, arbitration can decide. Just tell them... no explanation required.

            Their letter may not be seen in a very good light, should this go to a judge! They know full well this is not for loss but for their lack of following he procedure set out in law.


              How about something along the lines of:

              It is not correct to say that I have suffered no loss. The landlord is making outrageous and unreasonable claims at hugely inflated costs to which they are simply not entitled.
              This is stressful, time-consuming and creates a lot of work for me.
              I believe that you and the landlord are hoping that this will cause me to compromise and accept something much more than you are entitled to in order to offset any penalty for non-compliance with the regulations relating to the tenancy deposit protection.

              As a consequence, the end of the tenancy has become something of a nightmare.

              If I go to court, the minimum they can award is the return of the deposit in full and a penalty of one times the value of the deposit.
              This means that the landlord will be forced to either agree on a reasonable figure for compensation (one with which I agree) or take legal action to recover the amount that they claim.
              If they wish to take legal action, they will have to do this in the UK, which will present practical difficulties and it is likely that the court would limit the claim to the small amount to which the landlord is actually entitled.

              I would, therefore, accept, without prejudice, the return of my deposit in full and an undertaking that the landlord accepts that nothing further is owed relating to the tenancy."

              Something like that?
              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).


                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                Not doing so is something HMRC will want to blame on you because (in some magic way) you're meant to know to do that.
                Nothing to add to the thread. This very nicely sums up how HMRC opperate and genuinely believe.
                There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


                  Well I asked for 2x as it sat between the 1x and 3x and it is a Letting Agent (major National award winning Estate Agent).
                  They have come back with an offer below the 1X.
                  What would you do?
                  It may seen greedy to the landlords on here but this Agent has caused us some difficulty with our let including losing our changes to the inventory, not passing information on leaking oil tank, leaking pipes etc to the Landlord.
                  Then saying they never had the comms - so glad I used email (which their system autoreplies!)


                    How comfortable are you with the prospect of going to court, your ability to afford the (recoverable) cost of issuing the claim (and potentially paying a hearing fee), your ability to follow court procedures, and the time it would take if it goes all the way to a hearing? You know what the minimum award a court can make is. Weigh it up to see if the potential extra amount, and the satisfaction of winning is worth it for you to pursue.

                    Actually issuing the claim to show that you are serious with following it through may cause them to give you a better offer, but it may not.
                    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.



                      Well court doesn't scare me. Did my own divorce against my ex who was a solicitor.
                      And financially if we had to do the hearing that would be tough - but doable.
                      IF I could take them to court for harrassment I would, so think I will continue with the court route.

                      Just thinking of the right wording to reply to them with.....


                        National letting agent, 11 months unprotected, evidence of spurious deposit deductions, general incompetence throughout tenancy. What would I do?

                        I'd want 3x and I can't see why you wouldn't get it. There is case law that professional agents will be judged more harshly than first time landlords. I'd consider accepting 2x. You would be a fool to accept any less.


                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                          I would, therefore, accept, without prejudice, the return of my deposit in full and an undertaking that the landlord accepts that nothing further is owed relating to the tenancy."

                          Something like that?
                          I strongly disagree with this.

                          Firstly, just because the tenant has received his deposit back doesn't mean no harm was caused. In those 11 months, the letting agent could have gone bust or if OP wasn't comfortable enquiring abut the law he could have been persuaded to pay money out of his deposit that he did not have to.

                          This is the probabilistic equivalent of flying in plane that has a fault. If it completes the flight and lands safely that doesn't mean that there wasn't a chance it could have all gone horribly wrong. Every time a deposit is unprotected there is an expected loss to the tenant. Small in some cases, but it is non zero.

                          Secondly, if the only punishment is that the agent has to return the deposit in full then what incentive is there for them to comply with deposit legislation in the future? If the only downside is that they have to do something they should be doing anyway (returning a tenants deposit) and there is no financial penalty then optimal strategy would be to try and dupe every tenant possible. If the penalty for theft was simply that the perpetrator had to return the goods, then a person should make the logical choice that trying to steal constantly would be extremely beneficial.

                          Tenants need to create an environment where it is not beneficial for agents and landlords to avoid deposit protection legislation. Given that many tenants would be (a) ignorant of the law or (b) afraid of enforcing it, and that consequently this reduces the incentives for a LA/LL to comply, I would argue that it relies on those who do not fall in to a or b to insist on the maximum possible penalty.


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