How to make a claim for damages

by David Asker

2 weeks ago

How to make a claim for damages

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How to make a claim for damages

If your tenant has damaged your property, you should be able to use the deposit to claim back the cost of the damage.

The first step you should take is to negotiate with the tenant and come to an agreed amount to be deducted for the damage. If you are unable to come to an agreement, then the next step is to move alternative dispute resolution or ADR.

The tenancy deposit scheme states that last year 2,000 disputes involved gardening and 20% of disputes were over rent arrears with 56% including a claim for damages.

Alternative dispute resolution

At ADR the landlord must present the evidence, this can be a copy of the tenancy agreement, check in and check out photographs and reports and any other relevant evidence.

The tenant will be given the opportunity to respond and dispute the case responding to your evidence, as well as submitting their own evidence.

The case will then be reviewed by an independent adjudicator and you’ll both be notified of the final decision. The money will then be distributed as per this decision.

ADR is the only solution available to landlords who have protected deposits under the government scheme, and all deposits after 6th April 2007 should be protected by an approved scheme.

You must act quickly

If you are raising a dispute it is in your best interest to act as quickly as possible, the tenancy deposit schemes state that you must return the deposit to the tenant within 10 days of their request in writing, so any disputes need to be made within these timescales.

Landlord insurance

If you have an insurance policy, then you may be able to claim on this if all else fails, you will need to read your policy carefully as most have a clause that states that malicious and intentional damage isn’t covered but accidental damage is covered.

Damages exceeding deposit

If the damages exceed the deposit you might also want to consider getting a CCJ which we can enforce, you’ll need to ensure that you have the correct address for the tenant and that they have assets before you begin this process.

Contact The Sheriffs Office



Comments

Jim S

A week ago

My experience of the DPS is that they make it so difficult for a landlord to make a claim on the deposit that you have to ask yourself is it worth it? I have student tenants and they very rarely leave the property clean, all I actually want to really get out of a deposit is the cost of the cleaning and the rent. The rent is easy to prove your case for but the cleaning is contentious because of it's subjective content. Has anyone got any advice as to how I can make a successful claim for cleaning of a property?
I have an excellent check in cleaning inventory that I have produced which is all written descriptions and so I can successfully prove a clean standard at check in but at check out the DPS will not accept a written description of unclean which sounds a bit ridiculous if you were to write "dust on skirting board" dust on window sill for each room etc. I would be there for ever just writing up about where there was dirt so I used photographs for the check out condition but then the DPS said they would not accept check out photographs because there were no check in photographs. I appealed against there adjudication decision about not accepting my check out photographs on there own and the senior adjudicator agreed with me and so it went back into adjudication for a second assessment. I did obtain more money but then they just said that the cleaning bill was too expensive and so did not give the full amount that I had paid out. How do I win?
I really do get my cleaning done to a very high standard and so the cost is also expensive, if the cleaning bill comes to £300 and they only give me £200 then how do I prove my case to be able to be compensated for the full amount. I am seriously thinking about not taking a deposit at all and just dropping my standard of cleaning to just a polish and hoover out. It takes a lot of time to take a deposit from 5 students, register the deposit and THEN HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT through adjudication and not receive the full amount.
I don't think deposits work anymore!!!!!!
How do I win without paying for expensive inventory clerks that the tenant does not want to pay for and my time that can not be claimed.

Monty Bodkin

A week ago

"ADR is the only solution available to landlords who have protected deposits under the government scheme"

No it isn't!
The clue is in the name -Alternative Dispute Resolution.
It is an alternative to going to court, not an obligation.

Sami Houmrani

A week ago

It depends how much they owe you. Use Moneyclaim costs vary depending on the owed amount. Plus if the deposit covers the damages then you don't need to take court action just claim the whole deposit - which is what your tenants would be expecting anyway. You can action a Moneyclaim at the same time but it may cost more to start if you include the deposit monies as owed and you may miss costs that arise through the recovery of the deposit (proving ID etc.)

Another thing to bear in mind, the second you tell the deposit scheme that you are undergoing legal action they will stop everything until you tell them the outcome of the case. This is helpful if you're going on holiday and need to extend the time you have to return the deposit.

Either way good luck and don't forget to list your tenants on landlordreferencing .co.uk website to stop us taking your bad tenants. Also list the good ones so it makes referencing easy. Plus search your next tenant on that site to reduce the liklihood of the same happening to you again. Make sure you list the tenant and the guarantor as the defendants on the claim form - I have had great success with this strategy and attachment of earnings to get my unpaid rent paid.

Jim S

7 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Sami Houmrani at 17/06/2018 - 23:14
I assume that you can do both, ie claim on the deposit and then take the tenant to court for any balance of money that would still be owing. My experience of going to court in the small claims court is that the judges are hugely in favour of the tenant and are even down right rude to the landlord and so I believe that the deposit adjudication service is a better option. However you can win in the small claims court if it was a claim for something that you can easily prove like rent arrears, but as for contentious issues like cleaning and damage because they are viewed subjectively everyone can have a different opinion and the judge just simply rapes you. (Even if you have good evidence)
Why not go for the subjective claims with the DPS and then after the deposit balance is used up use the small claims court to claim for the easy victory's of rent arrears?

Munro

3 days ago

Hello and thank you for this post and all the comments. As it is pretty much a similar situation that I find myself in at the moment.
Sorry to Hijack this please see my comment below to my own posting 2 months ago:-

"Finally at long last I ve just heard from the lettings company the former tenant has agreed to progress the claim to ADR.
As my claim far exceeds the deposit, what should I do? I dont want to look like I am unduly enriching my claim or "taking the pee", in front of the ADR. So can I just make claim for dilapidation and removal of my property, leaving the larger sum to be claimed ie lost rental income for the Small Claims?
Also as Purplebricks made the agreement and gave consent to the tenant to leave early, albeit this without my authority or permission, would this then negate any claim for lost rent against my former tenants?
I would be very grateful of any response with advice from experience please".


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