Landlord deposit deduction amounts seem unfair

If it’s going to arbitration the disputed amount will be returned to TDS by the landlord as part of the T&C’s

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I cannot agree with the statement that the arbitrator can be trusted to be fair, they are not, they ALWAYS, without exception, favour the tenant.

When I was expecting a fight over my most recent deposit, I went through reviews on TrustPilot for the deposit scheme my money was being held by. I found reviews from landlords claiming that the scheme always favours tenants, and from tenants complaining that it always favours landlords.

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I can see you have got it on the right track now, but for future reference a request to your landlord / agent is not an official request for your deposit to be returned, you must submit your formal request through the TDS system for it to progress beyond the landlord negotiation stage, particularly if the landlord is not being reasonable.

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Thank you, Chris. Lesson learned. In all the years I’ve rented I’ve never had a deposit dispute so it’s been a learning curve for sure. I’m grateful for an unbiased 3rd party, although I realise Ts and LL alike think deposit schemes are biased one way or the other. I just want someone else to see the evidence from both sides and make a data driven, fact based, unemotional decision. I couldn’t talk to the agent or LL anymore. They were so passive aggressive. I can’t stand that and would rather wait for TDS than deal with those 2 again.

There is a presumption with deposit schemes that the arbitrator favours one side over the other. My experience is that it is all about the evidence you supply. The LL certainly has to prove the loss or they will not get any money, but it is in the interests of both parties to provide good evidence to support their argument. Photos, costings, loss calculations - anything that is hard evidence rather than just a statement.

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And they’d be absolutely right every time…

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That was certainly not our experience since I’ve had 3 disputed arbitration decisions in my years dealing with them personally, when I was hands on management, which I proved in all instances that the arbitration decision was incorrect, without the presentation of any further / different evidence. In all cases they accepted my dispute of the sums but since they had already automatically refunded the deposit against their arbitration assessment, we were left with a paltry sum in compensation from DPS which in no way covered our loss for their ineptitude. Complaints literally went unanswered as they considered their revised arbitration assessment / compensation to be their final word on the subject.

Another occasion they returned the full deposit (£1,100) ignoring / without acknowledging our dispute of the sum to be returned to the tenant, a clear error of their administration, costing us over £900, since DPS’s compensation for their error was yet another paltry sum of less than £200. Unfortunately, this was during a period under agency management, and they had no inclination to continue fighting my corner, and DPS would not discuss the situation with me, the landlord, since the accounts were under the control of the agent.

From a landlord’s perspective I would not recommend the TDS arbitration system for dispute resolution, it has most certainly proved either biased or inept from our extensive experience over the last 24 years with DPS in particular.

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I now only use insured scheme, giving me far more control as I hold onto the deposit.


Can you please recommend the insurance scheme you use.

It’s just TDS insured scheme and with the current high interest rates the interest earned on the held deposit more than pays for the small cost of the insured option.

I think all of the schemes offer insured and custodial options.

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If you earn interest from a tenant’s deposit it becomes the tenant’s money and has to be given to them!

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Does it really? Never knew that! Could part of the interest be used to pay for the scheme fees, would be a disallowable fee no doubt.

Yet its ok for the deposit scheme to keep the interest!

no, they pay it to the tenant when it’s returned to them… albeit the interest rate is very low… currently 0.8% with DPS for example

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That’s what I thought too.

The TDS scheme nearly always leaves landlords out of pocket. Maintenance costs these days are horrendous and when there’s a pet involved it can get even more expensive. We’ve literally lost thousands over the years having TDS virtually ignore us and finding favour with the tenants. I know this doesn’t answer your question but just to show it can be horrible for us evil landlords too.


I’ve just googled it.
DPS returns 0.8% after a certain threshold of 182 days
TDS uses the money to fund the scheme
If it’s insured TDS advise to document who earns the interest it in the contract
They advise that you can earn interest

I remember reading years ago that interest belonged to the tenant

I have called TDS and the NRLA before on this and they were not able to advise

My deposit custodial is 0.8%

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