Best Deposit Protection for disputes?

by Readers Question

9:52 AM, 16th May 2019
About a month ago

Best Deposit Protection for disputes?

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Best Deposit Protection for disputes?

Obviously I have an obligation to protect the deposits of my tenants, but having had 2 poor experiences with My Deposits on the only 2 occasions I’ve had big issues (I have had over 250 deposits protected) I wonder if there is an alternative that gives a less biased dispute service.

I’ve just had a new wooden floor badly marked – and admitted to by the tenant who assured me he’d put it right – didn’t – so I was awarded £85 (specialist said it couldn’t be spot sanded) and same tenant left me with the cleaning and out of £150 invoiced by professional cleaning company (in and out professional inventories supporting) I was awarded £100!! Not a big deal (except the floor) but I would like the support of the dispute service when they are needed.

I just don’t understand the decision but have no right to query it seems. I never normally bother for cleaning of other bits of damage, but he was seriously taking advantage of me.

I hear that there is a new one now called Zero Deposits where a premium of one week’s rent is paid and 6 weeks ‘cover’ given.

Anyone know of or in this system?

Harlequin Garden



Comments

Richard Peeters

17:12 PM, 17th May 2019
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Holmes at 17/05/2019 - 17:00
Michael, you might want to double-check (as will I) the rules on Deposits. I understood that taking an extra month in advance is considered the same as taking a deposit and/or it could be considered a Prohibited Tenant Fee (new rules from 1 June!)?

Has anyone studied this carefully?

Michael Holmes

17:15 PM, 17th May 2019
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Peeters at 17/05/2019 - 17:12
Hello RICHARD,

Yes, I am aware of the change in the rules and am monitoring the situation closely. The comments I made are historical and may have to be revised in the light of coming changes to legislation.

Neil Patterson

17:51 PM, 17th May 2019
About a month ago

Generally it will be assumed for cash deposits that it is the tenant's money until the Landlord has proved otherwise beyond doubt.

Michael Barnes

0:58 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Peeters at 17/05/2019 - 17:12
If agreement is worded correctly, then the money taken is rent and is allowed. e.g "it is for the first and last month of the fixed term", and no money is taken when the last month arrives.

You have to be careful that "rent" is not taken beyond the last period of a tenancy, or the extra month's payment will need to be returned, making it hard to argue that it is not a deposit.

Stephen

2:59 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

Hi All
Re: DPS I had real problem and lost out from a tenant subletting to ABNB
The DPS did not even agree total losses 7.500 Yes true
Can one no sue the DPS for negelance
????
What’s the alternative???

Would appreciate any recommendations

Richard Peeters

8:19 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 18/05/2019 - 00:58Hi Michael, I like this idea, although if there are real damages to deduct, and they have stopped paying at the penultimate period, then we still have nothing to hold back to cover the damages.
What happens if the tenant sets up a standing order and "forgets" (could be genuine) to stop it for the last month of the fixed term? Is it then considered a Deposit by default, or not if we refund it immediately (with a letter referring to their "error")? And what happens if the tenancy rolls over? Do we need another clause in the AST to say that the extra month's payment rolls over too, until the last month of the (periodic) tenancy?

Richard Peeters

8:30 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

Another method might be Card Payment, but this has drawbacks/risks too. Hotels taking Card Authorisation upon check-in (rather than actual payment), to get the card confirmed. However, the card may have expired by the end of the tenancy (less risk for hotels), or the tenant might intentionally cancel the card, or the damage is way above the tenant's credit limit at the time you need to take payment.

Rich Green

9:06 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

I got a deduction via MyDepsosits. Although that was because the tenant who vacated had already cashed my cheque "in full and final settlement". I would recommend always posting a cheque to a tenant in that way to try reach a settlement. If they try raise a dispute after, they cannot.

It's just a cost of doing business, I don't like the fact that I need to pay £26 again each year, each time I give the tenant another 12-month fixed term.

Badger

9:44 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

In recent months I have moved some of my units over to Letting Supermarket and they have quite an innovative scheme that helps to deal with this. I think it's insurance based and, sorry, but even though I have taken advantage of it on at least one occasion, I cannot remember the details. So far I have not had to make a claim so I don't know if it cuts the mustard but it is definitely worth looking at as it also has the benefit of relieving the tenant of having to front up a large deposit whilst also avoiding the likes of DPS who are definitely biased and unreasonable.

Email ahowat@lettingsupermarket.com for more details.

Monty Bodkin

9:59 AM, 18th May 2019
About a month ago

I wonder if there is an alternative that gives a less biased dispute service.
The Courts?
I don't buy the urban myth that Courts frown on landlords for not using the dispute service. But even if they do, my reasoning would be that my claim would be for more than the deposit amount
- which it would be if a tenant had refused my very reasonable offers of settlement.

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