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  • Deposit Protection

    Disputes case studies - cats, and changing the locks...

    TDS publishes real life case studies of deposit disputes to help you understand how adjudicators make their decisions, what it is reasonable to deduct from a deposit, and what evidence they need to see to make an award.

    It's called the Adjudication Digest and two new case studies have come out today...

    Cat claws...or is that clause...? In this dispute the tenant had kept a cat in the property without permission. As a result the landlord was claiming money from the deposit for cleaning and damage to the property. However, no evidence was given that repairs or cleaning was needed. Whilst the tenant had also admitted to keeping the cat without permission, the tenancy agreement didn't give any conditions should the tenant have kept a pet - with or without permission. Without cleaning and damage evidence, or other conditions in the agreement, the adjudicator was unable to award any money to the landlord. The case is explained in full, with relevant advice here in the case study.

    The Key Argument...
    In this case, a tenant had been told by the letting agent at the pre-check out inspection that all was well with the property and he could expect his deposit back. However when the tenancy did end he refused to hand back the keys until the deposit was returned. A deadlock ensued - as a result the landlord changed the locks and charged £100 from the deposit for doing so. On reading the tenancy agreement the adjudicator established that the return of the keys was an obligation of the tenant. Therefore the £100 could be awarded to the landlord. In this case the agent would have been wise to act with more caution in telling the tenant what he could expect after the tenancy ended to avoid the impasse - here is the case in full along with key tips.

    An archive of Adjudication Digests, all with advice for landlords and agents is also here on the TDS website.
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