Tag Archives: DPS

Property damage and cleaning top tenancy deposit disputes Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

More than half of tenancy deposit disputes during the last year concerned property damage and cleaning, The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) reports.

The DPS offers a free, impartial dispute resolution service to help ensure a fair conclusion to a dispute without the need for complex or expensive legal proceedings.

The list of disputes when tenants and landlords don’t agree on how much of a deposit should be returned to the tenant includes:

  • Property content damage – 27.3%
  • Cleaning – 26.64%
  • Other – 14.55%
  • Redecoration – 11.77%
  • Rent arrears – 8.19%
  • Missing items – 5.34%
  • Gardening – 4.94%
  • Utilities/bills – 1.28%.

‘Most likely causes of disputes’

Matt Trevett, the managing director at The DPS, said: “Cleaning and damage, as well as the most likely causes of disputes during the last 12 months, are also closely related.

“By not cleaning, for example leaving the build-up of grease or grime in an oven to the point where a professional cleaner cannot rectify it, tenants run the risk of damage for which they are then liable, depending on the obligations set out in their tenancy agreement.”

He added: “To avoid disagreements and ensure a swift conclusion to the tenancy, we always recommend that landlords communicate clearly with tenants about their responsibilities to the property and that tenants abide by the obligations set out in their tenancy agreements.

“Less than 3% of our deposits fall into dispute, and we work hard to ensure there is a wealth of information online to help landlords avoid or deal with a dispute when it arises.”


Deposit Dispute – ADR – Evidence viewing Latest Articles

I am currently going through ADR with DPS, and am just wondering is it at all possible that the lead tenant can request all the documentation that the landlord has submitted as evidence?

The process is now with the independent adjudicator, so a decision is imminent, however, I was just wondering if either party is allowed to request the full evidence documents to be sent to them for viewing.

ThanksDeposit Dispute - ADR - Evidence viewing

Daniel


End of Tenancy Deposit Issues – Tenant Requests Advice From Landlords Latest Articles

Hi All,

I realise this is primarily a landlords site, however nothing like hearing it from you on what will hopefully be an impartial landlord view. I like to believe I am a reasonable and honest tenant.

Background:

My landlady owns a number of properties in London (via a company). I moved in and a new AST was signed (3 bed place), as one of the previous tenants was staying it was agreed (among the tenants) the originals tenants would give £100 each (2 left, 2 came in, I was 1 of the new tenants) towards any damages that they have caused. So there was no official “check-out” for them (they were paid their deposit back in full by the landlady).
During this period the landlady placed our deposits in “insured” schemes which are OK but not great and she never dated them properly.

During the next 2 years both other tenants left any new ones came in (they swapped at different periods). New AST were created. In the interim Landlady goes into administration and the receivers stepped in. They placed our deposit into a custodial scheme.

She got out of it by selling a couple of properties and managing to refinance the remaining properties.
After she gained repossession of the property we did another tenant swap and this meant new AST and supposedly a new deposit protection scheme which we never saw (ie. she never applied for one).

Note 1: We have never missed any payments and always paid on time (for the 2.5 years I lived there).
Note 2: Landlady is still owing deposits to 2 other tenants that left almost 1 year ago (to be fair they should have applied A LOT MORE pressure but she keeps discussing different items that she wants to charge them for and delaying the process). She also seems to be dealing with them at individual level (almost as if she rent rooms out and charging for things that were never done like window cleaning).
Note 3: I took 3 days off work to make sure the property was left in excellent condition as I knew this was about to get messy (this inc professional carpet cleaners @ £115, professional cleaners suggested by her @ £135, I bought paint and brushes to make sure my room and common areas were not marked and left in pristine conditions), and paid a checkout report (although I never saw a check-in report).
Note 4: I am still liable to dispute the DPS custodial one as it was dated to finish in August (our tenancy finished in early September), however some of the names of tenants on that Deposit ID are different to the latest tenancy.

Our tenancy ended 6th Sep and the checkout report was issued 16th Sep (as inventory services agency took ages to produce the report).

Now she is doing the same to us, finding things that she maybe able to charge (including broken tile, leaking pipe, cleaning not up to standard [even though she recommended the professional cleaning company], stained sofa), given more time they will keep increasing.

Googling her name reveals some previous court cases and the cleaning company, check-out report company etc from what they told me sound as if she is the same with all her tenants in her other properties.

It obvious she does not play by the book and I have tried to be very patient and rational about all this. But to be fair to her she was patient with signing new ASTs and swapping tenants in contracts (but surely that is a saving on both sides as she does not have to market the property or have any downtime).

Questions:

  • How does she have to officially respond to checkout report and how long until we can start kicking and screaming for our deposit?
  • Given that the deposit is not in a “valid” protection scheme for the latest tenancy is there any mechanism to apply pressure? (I know landlords must place the deposits in these schemes but if they don’t they could have to pay multiples of the deposit… where can I go to talk discuss this option, I don’t want to get to this but will surely use this to keep her in line)
  • Should I dispute the deposit under the custodial scheme which has my name and 2 previous (not latest) tenants [who also have not yet seen their deposit back yet]?
  • How can I fight the several claims for several things which she wants money for?
  • Who do I go to for help on this? for example to take her to court or to dispute this end of tenancy given that it is not to my knowledge on any deposit protection scheme.

Please help, we (3 young professionals) all have 6 weeks rent tied here (not to mention 2 others who have also not yet seen their deposit back).

I appreciate all the feedback I can get. End of Tenancy Deposit Issues - Tenant Requests Advice From Landlords

I have rented different places in the UK over the last 10 years (Surrey and London), I have seen a couple of decent landlords but I have seen mostly awful ones. I do support the requirement for standards (licensing or accreditation), it is getting harder and harder to get on the property ladder and more young people will be renting for longer in the future, it is possible for landlords to keep their investments profitable and not have to play with people lives.

Many thanks

Andre


When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits Latest Articles

I have read that on no account should a landlord sign a new tenancy, unless he has vacant possession of the property.Even if good tenants have given notice in writing, it doesn’t mean they will actually move out on the day they say they will. On that basis it makes sense that new tenants should sign the new tenancy on the day of moving in. When to sign the AST and taking holding deposits

I have had problems in the past however, when tenants go through all the motions of wanting to take a property and then pull out, leaving us with lost rent and lost potential tenants.

What do others do to protect themselves ?

In Mark’s excellent Tenant Referencing Using Common sense’ he says …..”Once referencing is accepted …..we ask for the deposit to be paid to hold the property, we immediately protect the deposit….”

What is best practice if taking a so called holding deposit ?

When is a deposit just a holding deposit and not a tenancy deposit and should this ever/always be protected?

Can a deposit really be protected before a tenancy has been created (the DPS ask you to fill in the tenancy start date) ?

If the deposit was taken more than 30 days before the start of the tenancy wouldn’t it need to be protected and the Prescribed info served before moving in?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Many thanks

Mike


DPS bond contested Latest Articles

I am a new Landlord and the first tenant has left after she couldn’t pay her rent. Her partner left the house a month before and the new tenancy agreement was signed in her name only. DPS bond contested

Some damage had been caused to the property, gas meter changed without consent and was in rent arrears so the bond was requested back via our letting agents.

The tenant contested us having the bond stating that she had to leave because of a violent relationship.

They have offered us £200 out of a £600 bond which doesn’t even cover the rent arrears.

We have been told that if we take it to the adjudication panel we will not win and will loose the full £600.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Christopher


How ADR works in tenancy deposit disputes Advice, Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Latest Articles

After sharing in discussions on two separate threads (links below) I realise that there is some misunderstanding about how Tenancy Deposit legislation works when there is a tenancy deposit dispute. How ADR works in tenancy deposit disputes

Buy to let anguish – landlord being repossessed – rent paid 6 months up front!

Tenant Disappeared

In the first discussion the tenant is concerned that the landlord will not repay the deposit and in the second discussion it is the landlord who is concerned that the tenant can just walk away.

Whichever type of deposit protection scheme a landlord chooses to use, either the custodial scheme at no cost or an insurance based scheme where a premium is paid, the basic rules are the same.

If the landlord and tenant cannot agree on the amount of the deposit that is returned to the tenant either has the right to raise a dispute with the protection scheme. The dispute is dealt with through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) where independent arbiters make a determination based on the documentary evidence provided by both parties.

Since the money belongs to the tenant unless and until the landlord can prove that he is entitled to compensation for losses or damages the onus is on the landlord to prove his case and for the tenant to dispute it. If the landlord fails to prove his case the deposit will be returned to the tenant.

During the ADR process, if the scheme is an insured scheme the deposit will be held by the landlord and therefore the scheme will ask the landlord to lodge the money with them pending the results of ADR.  Once the decision has been made the scheme will repay to each party the amount to which they are entitled.

The reason this is called “Alternative” Dispute Resolution is that it offers  a “free” alternative to the normal legal system but it does not replace it and either party can, if they wish, take the case to court instead. If either party decides to take the case to court the deposit protection scheme must be informed and once the case is heard they must be given the court documents to prove the result of the case.  They will then distribute the money in accordance with the Court Order.

Neither party can just ignore the request of the other for ADR.

If either party fails to respond to a request from a scheme to take part in an ADR, the other party will win by default unless that party tells the scheme that he is taking the case to court. This must take place within 6 months of the issue being raised.

In conclusion it is not an option for a landlord to ignore a request for ADR where he is holding a deposit because he has used an insurance based scheme.  If he fails to agree to ADR or does not take the case to court within 6 months, the scheme will repay the deposit to the tenant and reclaim it from the landlord.

If the landlord fails to respond at all ADR will look at the case based on the tenants request and will return the money to the tenant.

A landlord who fails to make the payment will be permanently removed from the scheme and his only option in future will be to lodge his deposits with the custodial scheme.

Where a tenant simply does not respond the landlord too can reclaim the deposit from the custodial scheme either through taking it to court or by using the Single Claim Process.

Sources of information

1) DPS – see >>> http://www.depositprotection.com/documents/reclaiming-a-deposit-2013.pdf

2) my\deposits – see >>> http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/default/files/Tenant%20Guide%20to%20ADR.pdf

3) TDS – see >>> http://www.tds.gb.com/resources/files/What%20happens%20when%20the%20Court%20is%20involved%20in%20a%20tenancy%20deposit%20dispute.pdf


Retaliatory eviction – possibility of civil litigation? Latest Articles

We’re a professional couple with a limited company which provides a technology solution to the NHS. It suits our circumstances to rent at this moment in time. Retaliatory eviction

We had a 4-year rental of a lovely apartment until last Summer, when the owner decided to downsize and move back into the property. It was a good relationship, we had treated the property as if it had been our own investment and we parted as friends – with our deposit paid back in full.

After much searching we found a 3-bed town house which appeared to offer us everything we needed. The letting agent was a member of NAEA/ARLA and appeared to be respectable. There were some agreed remedial works to be dealt with and we were given assurances that these would be attended to in due course. We moved into the property in late August 2012.

Sadly, by the beginning of November, it was apparent that the property had some significant problems. There was extensive water penetration upstairs and a rising damp problem to the ground floor. The letting agent was informed immediately, with photographic evidence and a request for urgent assistance. We moved our furniture from the 3rd bedroom.

A ‘trades-person’ appeared in due course, with a notepad and pencil but with no damp meter. A report was promised, but was not forthcoming. The letting agent promised to send another contractor. This one only worked weekends and couldn’t agree a time to call; that visit never took place.

I called the landlords contractor to arrange the remedial work to be completed – missing doors, exposed wires, etc. He visited early November, measured up, made notes, promised to return – but failed.

We spent the most horrendous Christmas and New Year in the house. There was serious damp penetration, black mould which was constantly being removed. Slugs were climbing the walls. The house was very cold and the more that we heated it – the worse the damp became. We telephoned, wrote, sent photographs, yet the letting agent did nothing; there were plenty of replies – unbelievably stating that they were attempting to do everything as quickly as possible. We initially resigned ourselves to getting out of the house at the end of our AST.

In early-February, I wrote the strongest letter to letting agent with photos. A survey was made by Peter Cox, a pretty damning report which agreed with our complaint – serious damp and rain penetration. I wrote again, asking for compensation and a reduction in rent. This was refused. The letting agent had said that the landlord was absent; it transpired this wasn’t the case.

We tracked the landlord down and demanded a meeting. The landlord appeared, agreed with us in full and said that it was the first he knew of the problem. He agreed that we should be compensated and that this was the letting agents responsibility. Our landlord sat in our home, apologising and promised us both that this would be resolved. He remarked how clean we kept the property. The next day he had changed his mind and said that our grievance was with the letting agent. The following day – the EHO (Environmental Health Officer) inspected. That week, the missing doors and exposed electrics were attended to. We sent 2 requests to the letting agent, for the landlords address – these were refused.

A week later we received a section 21 notice to quit. The landlords address was given as c/o a family member in the South – presumably to thwart a legal action by us.

It turned out that the landlord had known of the problems. He’d applied for a grant for roof insulation, in my name – without my knowledge – and prior to our first meeting. It transpired that the letting agents were not members of ARLA or NAEA and we contacted both organisations and Rightmove to get these false affiliations removed. The letting agent claimed an oversight.

We spoke with our MP who has written to the CEO of the local authority, in order to push the EHO. The EHO wrote to the letting agent and the landlord but there was no response. We then began to receive threats from the letting agent to enter the property to inspect and allow viewings; we made a formal complaint to the Police and this is logged with a fast-track number in the event that they continue. We threatened to change the locks and the letting agent replied that this was not necessary.

We defended the section 21 notice on the grounds of incorrect dates and continued to pay the rent. We were not going to be forced out and subjected to costs or inconvenience due to their incompetence. The weather had improved and the house was drying out for the summer and we would tough it out now – having gone through the worst. We have since redecorated all damp affected walls as it is unnecessary to be reminded every day.

Our MP has pushed for resolution; this has mustered a stronger letter from the EHO. There has been no response other than a second section 21 notice. The dates are once again incorrect. The letting agent has put our deposit into a DPS but did not provide the Deposit Protection Certificate or prescribed information until we requested it after five months of tenancy. The prescribed information appears to be incomplete. I doubt that any s21 is valid until deposit is returned and the landlord might be liable for 3x under the Localism Act? Our claim should also be for a reduction in rent back-dated to 11/2012 and should provide compensation for immense stress and upset – particularly to my wife – for the repeated inconvenience, small damage, etc.

We’ve spoken with experts in Landlord/Tenant issues, they’ve seen our file which is very complete and have passed it onto Barristers to evaluate. We have a strong case apparently, but would incur costs of circa £7k to seek compensation/enforcement of duty to repair; we’ve been told that there is little likelihood of being awarded costs – if successful. That’s an expensive ‘point of principle’ for us.

It seems a dreadful situation. We actually like the house and the worst of the problems could be so easily resolved. We must now consider vacating the property before the bad weather sets in again – to remain longer would weaken any case against the landlord and the letting agent. The landlord is inexperienced and his conduct and concern for our welfare has been quite despicable. The promises that he made to my wife and I were instantly forgotten and we would like to do whatever might be done, so that he is taught the lesson.

Please accept our apologies for the long post, is there anything that we could do, other than what the landlord and letting agent expects – that being to vacate and walk away? I feel that someone needs to make a stand here, to create some solid case law if necessary – to protect others faced with similar problems in the future.

Thanks in advance

Roy and Tania


Updated guidance on Superstrike Deposit Protection case Advice

The four tenancy deposit protection scheme providers have collectively issued guidance notes following the Court of Appeal ruling in the case of Supertrike Limited vs Rodrigues. Guidance from deposit protection schemes following the Supertrike Case

Landlords and Letting Agents should note that none of the tenancy deposit schemes can offer legal advice to landlords or lettings agents.

Their guidance is not intended to give legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. If you have concerns you should get your own legal advice based on your own individual circumstances. However they set out their shared understanding of the position and the options they think are available to landlords and lettings agents in the future.

The guidance notes, which are available to download free by completing the form below this article, have been jointly produced by the authorised tenancy deposit schemes:

• my|deposits
• Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
• Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
• Capita

The Department for Communities and Local Government has met with the tenancy deposit schemes and has received a copy of these guidance notes.

Please download, have a read and then come back here and leave a comment.

You can be pretty sure the Deposit Protection providers will be reading comments left on this forum so don’t miss the opportunity to have your say.

Download the guidance notes here

 


Guidance from tenancy deposit protection schemes following the Superstrike Ltd. vs Rodrigues Court of Appeal case Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Legal, Letting, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Investment Strategies, Property Market News, Property News, Tenant Eviction

The four tenancy deposit protection scheme providers have collectively issued guidance notes following the Court of Appeal ruling in the case of Superstrike Limited vs Rodrigues. Guidance from deposit protection schemes following the Supertrike Case

Landlords and Letting Agents should note that none of the tenancy deposit schemes can offer legal advice to landlords or lettings agents.

Their guidance is not intended to give legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. If you have concerns you should get your own legal advice based on your own individual circumstances. However they set out their shared understanding of the position and the options they think are available to landlords and lettings agents in the future.

The guidance notes, which are available to download free by completing the form below this article, have been jointly produced by the authorised tenancy deposit schemes:

• my|deposits
• Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
• Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
• Capita

The Department for Communities and Local Government has met with the tenancy deposit schemes and has received a copy of these guidance notes.

Please download, have a read and then come back here and leave a comment.

You can be pretty sure the Deposit Protection providers will be reading comments left on this forum so don’t miss the opportunity to have your say.

Download the guidance notes here

 


Having problems with a Rent2Rent kind of company Latest Articles

Looks like my first attempt to enter the rental market has turned into a disaster. I just completed a flat purchase and made two agreements (AST and Letting Agency Agreement) with Rent2Rent company – they were supposed to sub-let the flat to their corporate client. This was nearly a month ago

Easy way to enter a market, I thought. It turned out to be not so. Their tenant moved in last week (after paying a deposit to them 3 weeks ago!). I have not signed any agreements with that tenant and I still haven’t received any payment, not even a deposit. Despite my request to pass me deposit directly, the company has has protected it with mydeposit.co.uk. When I said I do not agree with that, they promised to send me the money but nothing came my way.

I would like to know where to start. From reading some posts here I now understand that AST I signed with with the Rent2Rent company is not appropriate as they are a limited company, however, I don’t know exactly what it means to me. Does it mean that document has no legal meaning to either side?

The second agreement I signed, Letting Agency Agreement, is very simple. It states that they will retain my first month payment from the tenant and give subsequent 11 payments to me. It also states that they will pass the deposit to me to put into DPS.

I spoke to the local solicitor today who advised me to look in this forum for advise or similar cases. I hope someone can help me to get started on this.

I met the actual tenants and they are nice people but it looks like they also got themselves into a bit of trouble. In addition to paying first month’s rent and 6 weeks deposit (for which I believe they still have not received the protection evidence), the Rent2Rent company managed to convince them to pay extra 3 months in advance to save £50 a week so they will not be happy moving out.

My first mortgage payment came through yesterday, I will struggle to afford the second one if I don’t start getting money.

What happens if the Rent2Rent company never pays me but keeps on collecting money from their tenant – will I have no choice but default on my mortgage?

The Rent2Rent seem to have an office in the town, perhaps I can just go there and sit until I get paid – perhaps not the best strategy though.

Please help

N NeugomonneyHaving problems with a Rent2Rent kind of company


Prescribed Information – Landlords or Agents Details? Latest Articles

Ive just read an article about a company who have set up to find “loop holes” in the deposit system and are claiming compensation for tenants.

The article I read last week said that landlords details should be on the prescribed information, where others say if they are using a management agent, the agent can complete these.

I have rang the DPS who told me they couldn’t give me advice which I thought was mad !!! Does anyone know the “correct” procedure so I can make sure all my paperwork is up to date and accurate.

Many thanks

Julieloophole


Council Tax Responsibility and risky advice to tenant by CAB Latest Articles

Council Tax ResponsibilityCitizens Advice apparently advised my periodic tenant yesterday that she can move out immediately by signing a letter agreeing to DPS releasing the deposit to me. I suppose, technically, she has given her one month notice and paid her final month’s rent in the form of the deposit.

She is at liberty to vacate any time during that one month notice period. Continue reading Council Tax Responsibility and risky advice to tenant by CAB


Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne Edgecombe Latest Articles

Online Property Management Testimonial by Suzanne EdgecombeBeing a regular reader of Property118 I felt I would like to express my gratitude for this free website by writing a testimonial for the online property management company which Mark Alexander referred me to.

I submitted a “Readers Questions” article and several GOOD Landlords made a big effort to respond and offer me advice. This is the first time I have let out this property so I’m very much a “newbie”.

Having initially used a High Street Letting Agent and had 2 potential tenants drop out at the 11th hour costing me several months of lost income, I went looking for alternative support. I found an online property management company who have inventory clerks based in many Cities in the UK. Unfortunately they don’t have a local agent in the town where my property is yet but that didn’t prevent me from doing business with them. I had always imagined online companies would lack a degree of creativity and flexibility so I was delighted when we quickly found a way round the lack of agent presence and tailored a service for my individual situation.

They advertised the property on all the major property portals for me and I soon had a good supply of tenants to arrange viewings for. I was fortunate in that I was able to elicit the help of a close neighbour, who was happy to conduct the viewings on my behalf.   Having found a lady who liked the property and who I felt would make a good tenant, the referencing was done by the agent. They appointed an independent inventory clerk at their expense and, after discussions and advice regarding the paperwork I required for the tenant handover, I carried out the check-in myself. A copy of the signed rental contract, deposit protection and prescribed information forms from DPS and the inventory had already been sent to the tenant, and all other legal paperwork for the tenant information file is now uploaded on the tenant’s log-in area reducing my workload tremendously. On the handover day I was able to minimise the paperwork to key and other releases plus the equipment instructions file. My new agents will also be managing the rent collection for me.

The office staff were incredibly patient with my copious amounts of questions and the anxiety one feels ‘the first time’ and all that. 🙂  I couldn’t have wished for better support.

And the best bit was the cost!

How much do you think I am pay for this service?

Well, considering that most of the other ARLA lettings I spoke to wanted up-front fees of around £200 +VAT, plus 10% of rent + VAT, I figured that based on the rent I am charging (£895 pcm) the typical cost over the year would be £1,274 for a similar service. I am paying £14.99 pcm plus VAT plus say £50 in petrol and about 5 hours of my time to do the check in. In total, I have calculated that I will save around £1,262.80 over the year which equates to about 82.6% off the market norm.

If you are looking for a cost effective alternative to using a High Street letting agent I strongly recommend the firm Property118 introduced me to. They are knowledgeable, friendly and creative as well as being extremely competitive in terms of price. They are also members of ARLA and The Property Ombudsman so I also know they have client money protection and professional indemnity insurance too. What more could any landlord possibly ask for?

Thanks to Property118 for the excellent introduction. As a result of this I also became a member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign.

Regards

Suzanne Edgecombe

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Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlordsI am a non-exec Director of Letting Supermarket, an ARLA member letting agency which we have been recommending to Property118 readers since the end of 2012.

The feedback received from landlords we’ve referred has been superb with savings of 50% or more being reported when compared to other ARLA member letting agents. Continue reading Letting Supermarket provides massive cost saving opportunities for private landlords


Rent increase – your thoughts on this idea please Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Rent increase - your thoughts on this idea pleaseI normally only increase the rent when I have tenants move out of the property and new tenants move in. However, over the last few years I have noticed tenants remaining longer and longer.

I have a tenant that is now running behind with the rent and the rent is quite low for the style of house. Because the rent is always behind this creates more work with collecting the rent. On the good side they keep the house and garden in good condition.

I was wondering what is the notice period for increasing the rent and what if the tenant does not pay the increase but keeps paying the old rent. Do you have to reissue the DPS paperwork and who has to pay for this.

I was considering putting the rent up say £50 more than I require and offer a £50 discount if the rent is paid on time. Do you think this would help. A little bit like the discount you get with paying the gas and electric on time.

Any suggestions would be handy.

Thanks

Daz


Deposit Protection Service launch insured scheme Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

DPS Insured SchemeFor the first time in England and Wales, landlords and letting agents can now choose which deposit protection method they use – either custodial or insured – from the same place.

From April 2 The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) has become the only provider to offer both services at the same time. Continue reading Deposit Protection Service launch insured scheme


Oven Cleaning is one of the biggest issues in a rented property Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

ovenOven cleaning is one of the biggest issues and this article is to help Landlords present this particular item in their property in its best condition for an inventory inspection and help tenants bring an oven back to its initial clean state when leaving the accommodation.

Let’s put it into perspective, the cleanliness of a property makes up 51% of tenancy deposit disputes and some of which can be attributed to people forgetting or missing an item to be cleaned, another is that differing people have differing ideas of what is clean. Let me give you an idea how we all think the same but differently.

Picture a cat in your head,
How big is it?
What is it doing?
What colour is it?

While we have all just seen a cat in our minds eye, some cats will be small, medium, large. It might be sleeping, sitting, jumping around and any colour you want. Nevertheless, it is still a cat. The same is true for cleaning, someone might have actually worked very hard to clean a property but yet it is not you to your high standard. Maybe they just don’t know how to do the task correctly and yes some are just simply too lazy to do it. It is a rare situation that we know which of these statements is true for a given household and it might be a combination of all of these factors.

There is a continuum for the level of cleanliness form: never been cleaned, attempted but still dirty, cleaned to an average household standard up to what we call in the inventory profession “cleaned to a high domestic standard” and “cleaned to a professional standard” the best of course being a professional clean.

Here is a list of key phrases I use when describing the cleanliness of an oven from best to worst:
1. As New
2. Cleaned to a professional standard
3. Cleaned to a high domestic standard
4. Clean to a domestic standard
5. Partly cleaned
6. Needs finished clean
7. Not clean.

I must add that fortunately, most inspection I do I only have to decide if the cooker/oven has been cleaned to a domestic or professional standard.

If you look at the picture below, this is an oven an oven cleaned to a high standard but its condition is excluded from our discussion on cleaning. This is a worn oven and unless you have prior information, to this picture, it is not possible to say if this is through damage or due to age and fair wear and tear.

 

This oven is clean but through age and use, it is marked and even rusted at the sides.

Then we have the oven that is clean to a high domestic standard that is to say it is grease free but there are still baked on marks.

 

You should also watch out for chemical residue, many of the excellent oven cleaning products on the market leave residue marks on surfaces if you don’t wash off the product fully, which technically means the oven is still partially dirty, need a finish clean.

There are several very good cleaning products on the market. But there is one that I prefer to use it gets the job done and is fairly easy to use and normally takes a clean to domestic standard to a professional clean level. It is a strong chemical so you have to be careful and follow the manufactures instructions it is “Oven Pride”. Please note that I don’t have shares in the company and I am not getting any benefit for mentioning this product my motivation for mentioning it is to   help anyone who reads this article in particular Landlords and Tenants.

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ Inventories

Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from £56.00 to find out more see:-


The Deposit Protection Service announce new pricing structure Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) has announced the pricing structure for its new insurance based deposit protection scheme and rules out membership and annual renewal fees.

In the DPS press release they claim to be offering the easiest and cheapest option quoting:

• We will offer the industry’s cheapest published option for landlords and letting agents to protect their deposits.
• The DPS insured scheme will not be charging membership or annual renewal fees to its customers, so no membership paperwork to contend with either!
• Letting Agents will be charged per deposit monthly by direct debit; the (ex vat) fee to protect each deposit will be just £9.50 (further discounts will be available for volume).
• Landlords will be charged just £15.00 per deposit for deposits under £500 (inc vat), and only £22.20 per deposit for deposits over £500 (inc vat) on a pay-as-you-go basis. Continue reading The Deposit Protection Service announce new pricing structure


How many TDS Deposit Protection Insurances are no longer valid? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

The Dispute Service “TDS” recently posted on this website “TDS members need to log in to their account online and tick a box updating it to statutory periodic ( instructions are available in the Website User Manual). If you do not do this protection will end on the original end date of the agreement. We do advise that you also send the updated certificate to the tenant so they know their deposit is still protected.”

How many of their members are aware of this? Continue reading How many TDS Deposit Protection Insurances are no longer valid?


Do I need to re-protect my deposits? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Do I need to re-protect my deposits?

I have been told that I need to issue another Deposit Protection Certificate when my fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement “AST” reverts to a Statutory Periodic Tenancy “SPT”. Is this correct and if so, do I need to pay to re-protect the deposit with the insurance backed schemes such as My Deposits, The Dispute Service “TDS” and Deposit Guard?

I have also heard that the Deposit Protection Service “DPS” service need to be informed when a tenancy reverts to a Statutory Periodic. Continue reading Do I need to re-protect my deposits?


SAFEagent Launches its Awareness Week Cautionary Tales, Latest Articles

SAFEagent is launching a ‘week of activity’ beginning on May 14th until 20th May, aimed at raising awareness of the scheme with tenants and landlords.

As part of the week there will be national and regional events to increase the knowledge of landlords- especially first-time landlords– and tenants of Client Money Protection Schemes and their importance. SAFEagent itself currently boasts more than 1800 letting agents. Continue reading SAFEagent Launches its Awareness Week


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