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  • Legal FAQs

    Deposit - dispute

    Dear All,

    Has someone ever used the court (rather than the Alternative Dispute Resolution) in order to manage a dispute on a deposit?

    Is it just like taking someone to the Small Claim Court?

    If you have done it, would you do it again or would you go for the ADR?

    Thank you,

    Debora

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    Hi Debora,

    The whole deposit lifecycle has been mapped out by the government and delivered via the tenancy deposit schemes as per their protocols.

    The process is designed to end in ADR as a last resort, but that is the due legal process, not a small claims court.

    It is intended that mediation will solve the vast majority of disputes, and only a tiny fraction end up in the ADR process.

    They would only end up here if you and your tenant could not agree on deposit deductions, and then it would resort to ADR.

    The deposit is the tenant's money and the landlord is legally obliged to prove why deductions should be made and provide documentary evidence to that effect.  If they cannot do that, then whether ADR or small claims court is used, the tenant has the upper legal hand imho.

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    Dear Vanessa,

    My question referred to the procedure to be followed in case I DO NOT USE the ADR.

    Debora

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    I stand to be corrected,( i’ve not used the small claims court for a deposit issue) but even the small claims court expects that all other forms of resolution are tried before going to court, as pointed out the deposit process is pretty much set in stone.

    Trying to circumvent the process would i suspect be fruitless, though depending on the specifics of the matter those more legally minded may offer a way forward.

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    not done small claims (and never has a dispute) but don't blame you.  I was disgusted to read 'my deposits' head adjudicator Suzy something state in a blog that 'GOOD LANDLORDS DONT HAVE DISPUTES'!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    so ergo only bad landlords have disputes.  glad we dont use my deposits.

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    If you don't use the ADR process, it's likely that the court will want to know why - as the court is being used in place of a free independent 3rd party process designed for that purpose.

    The court will use the same formulas to determine damage as the ADR process, so I'd only use a court if there was a specific reason not to use the deposit company ADR - such as the claim being made dso far exceeded the deposit value that any ADR process would be a waste of time.

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    Dear Philip_shambrook, be careful about spreading misleading information.

    FYI, I have copied a sentence that appears on the DPS website (https://www.depositprotection.com/im-a-t...uctions/):

    `If either you or your landlord or letting agent decide they don’t want to use our free Dispute Resolution Service, the dispute will have to be resolved through the courts which can be costly and time consuming.'

    I have used the DPS in the past:  the adjudicator acknowledged that there were arrears of rent and.... gave the deposit back to the ex-tenants!!!

    The ex-tenants that is now disputing the deposit now has written to me that he knows that the ADR always ends in favour of the tenants.

    Quite frankly, I am fed up with the systems.

    There are plenty of charities offering free legal advice to people that have broken/stolen items, are in arrears of rent, etc.. but nothing is available to taxpayers that are renting out their own ex-house and that are currently living in shared accommodation.

    I opened this topic asking for advice from who has used the court before.

    Thank you,

    Debora



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    Have you used the small claims court before? You are expected to have tried to resolve the matter by mediation before going to court, my choice of words may not be as clear as it may have been, and i clearly stated that i stand to be corrected, but by all means go for it. I’ll put my money on you not getting very far.

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    I understand exactly where you are coming from Debora.  

    Tenants created a whole raft of repairs.  DPS told me that I couldn’t be reimbursed for time and effort I had to put in to fix the issues the tenants  created!

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    Pete

    The Astute Landlord