Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
The Dos and Don’ts of Deposit Disputes
23 June 2022 675 Views
At Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), we're committed to making the deposit protection process as pain-free as possible. From our beginning of tenancy API proptech, to our end of tenancy solution, we invest in innovative technology solutions and partnerships that make work life easier for our agents. However, we do still encounter deposit disputes!
And, whilst disputes only account for under 1% of all TDS tenancies, that’s still almost 30 thousand cases per year that could potentially be avoided.
Here, we share our expert tips on how to prevent unnecessary deposit disputes at the end of tenancy.
DON’T forget the fundamentals
To help avoid a costly penalty, you must register a deposit on a new tenancy within 30 days of receiving it through a tenancy deposit scheme. With TDS, there are two methods; the free custodial scheme, where the landlord or agent pays the deposit to the scheme who will keep it until the end of tenancy, or our insured scheme, where the landlord keeps the deposit but pays a premium to the scheme. Along with the deposit, you will need to serve the prescribed information to every ‘relevant person’ who has contributed to paying the deposit.
DO pay attention to detail
Inventory reporting takes extra time, but the benefits are plenty! The more comprehensive the report the better, and by capturing the detail at check-in the expectations are set.
Proving the condition of things at the start and end of tenancy is key, so be specific about the condition and cleanliness (noting both) so there is no room for misunderstanding at the end of tenancy. TDS work closely with Inventory Hive, an industry-leading supplier of inventory software, providing inventory clerks, letting agents and landlords with access to an easy-to-use software solution that aids in decreasing tenancy deposit disputes.
DON’T skip mid-tenancy inspections
Performing a mid-tenancy inspection will give you insight into how the property is being looked after, and allows you the opportunity to address any concerns you come across. Similarly, your tenant may have questions regarding the maintenance of the property that you can help with, preventing further issues down the line.
DO try to communicate before a dispute!
Many disputes could be resolved before reaching adjudication by simply talking to each other and discussing the complaint, to see if an agreement can be reached. Many agents have found that using our Deposit Deductions template to clearly outline the deductions you wish to make from the tenant’s deposit very effective in coming to an agreement.
DON’T be unreasonable in your claim
Several claims that come through to TDS are for the full amount of the deposit, instead of asking for a deduction that is fair to both the agent, landlord and the tenant. TDS adjudicators will only award what they think is a reasonable amount, so, for example, ensure your claim for a professional end of tenancy clean is correctly priced, evidenced with an invoice, and is how the property was provided at the start of tenancy.
DO supply the right evidence
If you do have a dispute, it helps to know that we base our dispute outcomes on the information we receive, so ensure that you include the check-in and check-out inventories and condition reports, as well as any photographs, relevant invoices and receipts.
If there’s a claim for rent appears, check you have sent us a schedule of what’s been paid and what hasn’t. Without these documents, you will not be able to show that your claim is valid.
DON’T forget to try our chatbot to see if you have a claim!
Our innovative AI Dispute Chatbot provides users with advice on how to present their dispute claim as effectively as possible.
DO think like an adjudicator!
Our TDS Adjudication Workshop is hosted by qualified adjudicators who will show the kind of evidence an adjudicator looks for in a tenancy deposit dispute. This can help resolve disputes with tenants before passing them to a third-party adjudicator. By knowing in advance what could happen, then more detailed tenancy agreements, inventories, guides and communications can be provided to avoid further disputes.
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