Deposit Disputes

Deposits can be a source of disagreement between landlord and tenant; Sometimes more than others. We would therefore like to share with you how we deal with deposit disputes when they do occasssionaly arise

The purpose of taking a deposit or bond is to give the landlord some security that rents will be paid in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement as well as other parts of that agreement being complied with in full. If at the end of the tenancy there are dilapidations beyond reasonable wear and tear or there are any rent or charges outstanding then the landlord may have a justifiable claim against the deposit

As an agent we work for the landlord. We are employed by them. When it comes to dealing with deposit we have a duty of care to tenants and we must comply with the tenancy deposit regulations as laid out in the 2004 Housing act. However we are there to assist the landlord in claiming what he believes he is rightly entitled to both through our attempts to mediate a fair and reasonable outcome (which we are obligated to do by law) and then, in the absence of being able to reach an agreement, by submitting the claim and evidence fairly to one of the governments' recognised arbitration schemes

Every deposit that we receive is protected in accordance with the prevailing laws. Some tenancies are exempt from deposit protection however the vast majority are not. Private tenants will almost always have protection in place against unreasonable claims by the landlord and we will ensure that tenants are aware of their rights and where to seek further advice and assistance in the event of a potential claim. However, it bears repeating that we are employed by the landlord to act on their behalf and so although we will always try to be fair it may be difficult for us to be impartial and therefore tenants should seek their own independent advice during any deposit negotiations

It is a tenants' responsibility to comply fully with the terms of their tenancy agreement. Tenants would be well advised to fully understand the terms of the tenancy and to refer back to the original inventory and schedule of condition on the property to ensure that when they vacate the property is left in a state which is commensurate with the terms of the tenancy agreement and accompanying inventory. It is generally a failure to do this that leads to the majority of deposit claims in our experience rather than dishonesty on the part of the landlord. As a professionally licensed agency we would never condone dishonesty from either party

If, at the end of a tenancy, we cannot negotiate a suitable outcome to any deposit negotiations we are obligated to submit a claim for arbitration to an independent body who will seek evidence from both parties before reaching a binding decision on who should receive what from the deposit. In doing so we all agree to be bound by their decision albeit if either party refuses to engage in the free independent arbitration process then the matter May need to be placed into County Court for resolution. As the landlords' agent we will seek to gather the evidence required for any claim by the landlord but it will remain the tenants' responsibility to defend this claim and to maintain and provide evidence for their own case. As the landlords' agent we are not obligated to do this and we will not provide evidence for the tenant