DPS resolution service?

Hi, I just wanted to know if you would use the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) resolution service to arbitrate between the landlord and tenants regarding the return / division of the deposit? I have heard that they heavily favour tenants and in many respects accept what they say whilst rejecting the landlords evidence. What’s been your experience? I’m currently in dispute with my tenants over the return of their deposit and have been advised to use the county court small claims process and not to trust the DPS.

I wouldn’t use the DPS again. It beggared believe. Their reasons given were totally illogical. I spent a week all day every day preparing the case with photographs etc.

I had to phone the DPS today regarding the deposit as we have damage and told them I was using the court. Not sure if that will be any better but it can’t be any worse.

I wish you luck

On the same note, does anyone know please, when using the Courts for a deposit dispute is it done online now or in a court room? Thank you.

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I used it recently. I was happy with my result that I award the claims. You can send as much as you have the evidences that will help your case and separate them in different email due to email capacity limitation. As long as you have all good evidence like signed check in and check out reports, if no check in check out reports, send all the dated photos / videos files (dated of check in and check out to show them the different), contract, related documents, correspondence emails etc…

Good luck!

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If you have a deposit in a scheme, the courts are likely to expect you to use their ADR before you ‘waste valuable court time’ as they would see it. They are unlikely to be any more sympathetic in my view.

Lots of landlords say the schemes are biased toward tenants and tenants say the reverse. In reality I believe its all about the quality of your evidence and the reasonableness of your proposed deductions.

Hi David122, fair point about courts expecting the use of ADR first, but some tenants refuse to use this knowing they would lose, hoping that their landlord cannot be bothered taking them to court. The DPS told me that the deposit is the tenants money and the landlord must provide cast iron evidence to make any claim against it. The tenant/s have to prove nothing. Biased?
My last tenant left me with over £3000 of damage, caused by her boyfriend, during a drunken rage. The DPS said that she did not cause the damage, so was not liable. They advised me to take the boyfriend to court. My tenant said, “good luck trying to find him”. She refused to give me his name or any other details.

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The ADR decision is final, so not able to go to Court afterwards. Because damages were caused to your house by the boyfriend maybe that was different.
We have damages caused by a tenant who has just left and we have said we want to use a Court rather than the DPS service.

Sorry to hear that Alex. I think the DPS were wrong about the tenant not being liable and its disappointing to hear that they would not allow the claim. I would make a formal complaint to them if this were me. I have heard that they sometimes reverse their decisions and pay out. I think you could possibly also have sued the tenant in court and asked the judge to order the deposit paid to you in part settlement, but it does seem very unfair.

The evidence you need is only a detailed inventory signed at the start stating the condition of every item in the property. You then do a detailed check out report against it. If your claim is not over-inflated the deposit scheme should not refuse.

Hi Alex,

What is your tenancy agreement in damage terms or tenant responsibility?

I did quick check within few sources, it would be the tenant liable to pay for any damage cause by tenant, a family member or a friend as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets down the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Section 11 deals with the issue of repairs.

“Making good any damage to the property caused by the behaviour or negligence of the tenant, members of his/her household or any other person lawfully visiting or living in the property.”

If your AST has mentioned it clearly, then you can use the clause to against the tenant.

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