How long can DPS keep a deposit for during a stalemate?Make Text Bigger
I had a dispute last year with my two tenants over the return of their deposit where they wanted a higher rent abatement than I offered them for some major bathroom works that was done while they were there. They therefore failed to pay some rent in their last month.
When they moved out, I retained some of their deposit to cover this rent and they raised disputes with DPS where the deposit was registered. I had to send cheques to DPS for the respective amounts. I dealt with one using the ADR service (which I was successful on), and the other I opted out of the ADR service (so it would have to be dealt with in court).
However, the tenant for the outstanding deposit is a barrister and I imagine I would have a long and tedious battle through the courts over this deposit, which I don’t have the time or inclination for now. Likewise, she doesn’t appear to be taking any action either, perhaps because she knows the other tenant lost. So, it’s now a stalemate. Neither of us have the benefit of the money because it is now with DPS, and DPS won’t release it without a court order.
How long realistically can DPS keep the money? Surely it can’t be forever, because the money is effectively in limbo and would have to go somewhere eventually once both I and the tenant are dead and/or DPS is wound up. Where would the money go then? Also, many records are destroyed after 6 years with most companies.
There must be a time limit on holding this money if neither party makes a claim. Then surely, after this time limit, it must be released to whomever asks for it first, me or the tenant. Or perhaps by way of a simple court order at that point.
Hypothetically speaking, if I and the tenant did die, when and where would the money go then? Would it go to my estate, the tenant’s estate, or become the property of DPS eventually?
Looking forward to reading your replies.
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