DPS Statutory Declaration to rub salt into the wound?

DPS Statutory Declaration to rub salt into the wound?

10:20 AM, 17th December 2021, About A year ago 26

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Hi guys. I’ve been a landlord for around 15 years, managing my own small portfolio, for the first time I’ve had to go back to DPS to claim a deposit in full (£650). The tenant who left around 4 weeks ago, an old lady who doesn’t like tech, been with me for over 12 years, very eccentric, never liked to call me for anything, and I left her alone as her rent was always paid on time (my mistake I found out).

When she called and handed her notice in (wouldn’t email or text as she doesn’t have an email or knows how to text), she did say that I can keep her deposit (alarm bells rang of course). Anyway, I spent over £3K to bring the property back to a habitable state. DPS say they’ve texted her, on an old number, and waiting for a reply. I called the lady and asked her to call DPS directly with her new number, but she’s a bit slow.

Meanwhile, DPS sent me a form to fill in, Statutory Declaration, which needs to be witnessed/signed by a lawyer, this is the last thing I wanted as it will just incur extra costs! (rubs salt in my wound, so to speak).

The question is, is this the only way I can receive the deposit? Does it cost a lot for a lawyer to add their signature and stamp it? (I’m based in Thurrock, Essex, if anyone knows someone).

Many thanks


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3:29 AM, 18th December 2021, About A year ago

Further to my above post, one tenant caused me so much aggro just for the sake of deducting £50 from her £700 deposit to have my carpets cleaned due to the stench of childrens urine, she did a child minding from home, she promised me when she hands her keys back she will have the carpets steam cleaned, but she barely even vacuumed them properly, so merely pointing out to her that look the carpets have not been steam cleaned and I can still smell the stale smell of urine, she went berserk screaming and shouting at me, started to really scream loud to seek attention from anyone nearby to make them her witness so that she could frame me for common assault, she in fact reported me to the police for common assault, they came and arrested me, could not prove the incident as no one witnessed or she had no evidence as the common assault never took place,
for me it was a nightmare, for what for the sake of frigging £50, and she could easily have accused me of a attempted rape! I learned my lesson and now a days I always take a voice recorder or video recording whenever I see tenants leaving or during inspections. But you can tell which tenants are likely to make your life hard, thankfully I now get new tenants through recommendation by tenants leaving, to the extent I do not need to give them any 24 hours written notice, we mutually understand each other, my rents are at least 25% lower than market and we form a friendly relationship, my tenants never allow me to leave without refreshments, tea or coffee even dinner sometimes. So I take no deposit, and whenever issues arise I sort them out immediately. Having a good relationship is more important than deposit.

Jessie Jones

11:43 AM, 18th December 2021, About A year ago

I've been told that Magistrates will do this for free if you go to your nearest Court and speak to the listings officer. Think you have to be bright and early before they start with the trials. Not tried this myself yet.


14:19 PM, 18th December 2021, About A year ago

That seems like a good reason to use an insured scheme.


15:50 PM, 18th December 2021, About A year ago

Best to use MyDeposits.com and you can keep the deposit in your own account. I have never had a problem with tenants arguing about the relatively small sums I have had to deduct after a tenancy.

Paul Shears

16:53 PM, 18th December 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by at 18/12/2021 - 15:50
I agree and I have used MyDeposits for over ten years. However, I have noted that they no longer respond to Email communications. You have to ring them up and it may be sorted literally in a moment. You will then receive an automated message asking you to give positive feedback on something that has dragged on.
I do not know of a better system though.

Ian Narbeth

12:10 PM, 19th December 2021, About A year ago

Hi Sohail
The fee for administering a solicitor administering a statutory declaration is £5 - see Commissioners for Oaths (Fees) Order 1993. This has not changed since the 1980s and since it represents less than two minutes of most solicitors' time may explain why it is (a) not easy to find a solicitor to do it and (b) some charge more, though they shouldn't.

As to your substantive complaint, what is the alternative? The deposit is the tenant's money until the DPS release it to you. Should they just release it on your say so? No. A statutory declaration is a way of ensuring that the landlord or agent who is claiming the money takes care with the claim and suffers consequences if they lie. Believe it or not, sometimes landlords wrongly refuse to return money to the tenant and would lie about the rent arrears or cost of repairing damage.

I have had to make statutory declarations on a couple of occasions, with tenants who failed to pay the last month's rent and then refused to correspond. Yes, it is a pain and takes time but that is a cost of being a residential landlord.

When claiming from the deposit holder, it is vital that landlords set out their claim clearly and in full and with supporting evidence. Otherwise, the deposit will be returned. The DPS, TDS etc don't ask for "further and better particulars". They judge the claim on what the landlord sends in.

On the basis of what you have written, it should be very simple to make the claim. You should be able to fill in the declaration yourself. It does not need a lawyer to draw it up. The only costs will be your time and the £5 swear fee.

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