6 weeks backlog at the DPS?

by Readers Question

8:53 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

6 weeks backlog at the DPS?

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6 weeks backlog at the DPS?

On August the 16th 2018 I left rented accommodation to get back on the property ladder. I had been a good tenant and had a good working relationship with the landlord. All seemed well until the landlord decided to dispute the return of our deposit and on the 28th of August his complaint was logged with the Deposit Protection Service.

His claims for damage and missing items were ridiculous in the extreme, but he had lost his copy of the contract and inventory and therefore he couldn’t back up any of his claims I however did have a contact and inventory so could prove he was lying .

Even with such an open and shut case I am still waiting for the return of my deposit 5 months later, I thought the Deposit Protection Service was meant to speed up this process and root out dishonest landlords.

I have spoken to the Deposit Protection Service today and there is still a six week backlog and that it is looking like March when it will finally be resolved. I was wondering if anyone else (tenant or landlord) was receiving a similarly poor service.

Many thanks

Onslow



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:08 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

I have just spoken to someone very helpful at the DPS and she has given me an indication of timescales for the Dispute Resolution (DR) service to manage peoples expectations.

Currently due to a sudden increase in volume the (DR) team are working on cases that have come in on the 6th of December. The backlog can change quite quickly if volumes slow down.

A DR case has a 28 day review period and after the decision the deposit is released if any within 2 days and received in accounts 3-5 working days later.

Onslow Clough

9:29 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Thanks Neil, however the DPS have been repeating the same mantra to me every time I call them as well. Increased volume, They'll be catching up soon, my case is definitely going to be looked at shortly, review period of 28 days , deposit released in 2 days and in my account 3 to 5 days later etc.
They have been saying this to me since August 2018, the latest update is that they can't give me a specific date but they hope it will be resolved by the end of March. That will mean it's been a full 7 months since the dispute went in.

David Dorset

10:21 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

I have used the DPS as a landlord and have found them to be pretty much useless. I resent that if the tenant or the landlord makes the slightest error in the claim then it is dismissed yet the DPS can delay as long as they want without recourse. On an open and shut case such as you describe there is no excuse for the awful delay and there should be a compensation scheme which entitles you to a payment if the DPS are late or make a mistake. Please take the time to enter their complaint procedure as that will cost them time and money and only then might they try to change their ways.
I do not intend to use them again. They are slow and incompetent in my view.

Beaver

10:36 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Dorset at 29/01/2019 - 10:21
So what other deposit protection scheme do others recommend and why?

Maggie Howell

10:47 AM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

I have always used the DPS and as yet had no issues with them but I would also be interested to hear of any other deposit schemes that people would recommend

Carol

12:58 PM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Onslow Clough at 29/01/2019 - 09:29
Hi Maggie, l am with TDS and they are super fast at dealing with deposits, refunds and dispute. This is my first year as a live out Landlady and apart from one bad tenant, where I had to replace a three month old bed, clear mounds of mouldy rubbish and have a nearly new carpet professionally cleaned. Early days for an eye opener for me, but still I did not lose my cool. The fact of that one is I Email tenant and explained without malice what I was doing and had receipts ready to forward. He accepted his responsibility and we were both paid out in a couple of days by TDS job done.

Ian Narbeth

13:08 PM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Onslow

Sorry to hear your story. We have been using the DPS for over 5 years and have logged well over one hundred deposits. We have had no problems but have only had to use the dispute procedure two or three times.
The DPS is run by Computershare Investor Services Plc. They are authorised by authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. A list of the directors of that company is here: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03498808/officers
and the main company: https://www.computershare.com/corporate/investor-relations/corporate-profile/meet-the-team
I suggest you write politely to them, cc'ing every director setting out what has happened and saying that you are dissatisfied with their service and will be making a complaint to their regulator unless the matter is resolved within say 21 days. If they need to put more resources in to this part of their business they should do so.

DC

21:33 PM, 29th January 2019
About 2 years ago

Hi Onslow
We recently had departing tenants dispute various matters after they initially agreed to rectify some things and gave permission to use their deposit to pay for the other items. Their tenancy ended on 5th December 2018 but by the 18th December they had decided they wanted to go to tribunal and dispute the lot.
The DPS were contacted and proceedings were initiated and to cut a long story short they had come to their decision by 24th January 2019.
So just over a month but with the Christmas & New Year period slap bang in the middle of it.
Just for your info you may be interested to hear as a tenant that 5 different items were disputed and there was no logic in how the DPS apportioned costings to both sides in their decision. The end result was a 60/40% approx. split on the costings award, favouring the tenant.
It's one we've put down to experience but in terms of how quickly it was dealt with we couldn't really complain.
I do suspect there must be some other problem lurking in the background with your dispute and would echo other advice and commence the complaints procedure with the DPS. It seems to have taken a ridiculous amount of time especially as you the tenant have produced all evidence for your side of the matter.

George Harrison

11:08 AM, 2nd February 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DC at 29/01/2019 - 21:33
I am having the same problem. Every time I ring up they keep telling me there is a backlog and it will be another 6 weeks. They said the reason for this was because they didn't have enough adjudicators but were trying to bring more on board

Onslow Clough

20:04 PM, 27th March 2019
About A year ago

My case with The Deposit Protection Scheme has finally been resolved after a 6 month wait and we have got our deposit back.
We have subsequently made a complaint to DPS but received no satisfactory explanation of the delay.
At this point Rob Crawford the chairman of the Association of Local Landlords (Wessex) very kindly took up our case and met directly with representatives from DPS at their Bristol offices. Something i could not possibly do living in Yorkshire.
He was able to gather a lot more information regarding our case which he was able to pass on to me. Apart from a lot of obfuscation about the dates various forms were received and dealt with the crux of the problem was thus:

"Having looked at the dispute, it appears that initially the landlord may not have been responsive to the tenant’s attempt to reclaim the deposit. This resulted in the tenant using the single claims process (Statutory Declaration). The tenant’s Statutory Declaration was dated 26 October 2018; as such, the period between the claim being commenced and the final decision was 4 months and 7 days."

Although it was nice to see the DPS have acknowledged that the process took over 4 months, the truth is it took more like 6 months from start to finish.
It seems unfair that their stopwatch for the case started on the 26th October when they received our Tenants Statutory Declaration when in actual fact, from our point of view it started in August when we initially logged our dispute with DPS.

However i must add how grateful I am to Rob Crawford for taking the time to look into our case and bring it directly to the attention of DPS, hopefully his actions will persuade DPS to look at their procedures and try to give their customers a far better service

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