3Ds – Deposits, Disputes and Damages

2 06 2011

Hello all,

Deposits…It must always be remembered that the deposit remains the property of the tenant at ALL times and in the event of a dispute there is NO obligation for the tenant to prove his argument. A Landlord (or Agent) MUST prove that he has a legitimate claim to retain all or part of the deposit.

One of the many good reasons for Landlords to take out full management of their properties with a Letting Agent is to ensure that if any dispute should arise over a tenant’s deposit, it is correctly managed and follows the guidelines requested by the Deposit Protection Service(DPS).

Types of evidence that may be requested by an adjudicator during a dispute could include: The Tenancy Agreement, Inventory Reports and Check In/check Out Inspections, Photographic/Video Evidence, Invoices and Receipts, Estimates and Quotations and Cleaning Charges to name a few.

It is also worth mentioning the Wear and Tear situation. Some Landlords are of the belief that their property should be returned to them in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy without considering fair wear and tear. It is reasonable to assume that a property let out to a family of four will suffer more wear and tear than if it was rented to an individual and this must be took into consideration at the end of a tenancy. The Landlord should definitely not be either financially or materially in a better position than he was at the commencement of the tenancy.

It is our experience that, unfortunately, Landlords who are not under full management, do not have the information requested by the DPS when disputing deposit claims and therefore fail in their claim…..

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