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Monday, November 29, 2010

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 22: Disputes v Court Action

Tip 22: Disputes and Court Action
I usually describe deposit protection dispute resolution as parallel to the court system because, although the two are unrelated, they employ the same rules and reasoning to reach a decision. Using the deposit protection schemes’ ADR service is akin to contracting out your right to use the court service to a third party. The situation can get rather complicated when the two come together.
Adjudicators occasionally see claims where the matter at issue has already been decided by the court. The most common example is where the court has awarded less damages than the landlords was hoping for, and the landlord makes a claim on the deposit for the remaining amount. By trying to obtain more than the court awarded, the landlord is said to be going behind the judgment. In this situation, an adjudicator is unlikely to feel able to look at the case, as to do so would be to overrule a court decision, and asking the adjudicator to do so is widely considered to be bad form.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes.

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Anonymous said...

I would never advise anybody to use the DPS adjudication process. They are incredibly bias in favour of the tenant even if you can produce overwhelming evidence to show the tenant is at fault they will still rule against the landlord.
I would advise landlords to avoid this corrupted system at all costs.

Tom Derrett said...

I tell people that landlords lose deposit disputes not because the system is unfair, but because it is too fair.

Disputes are decided according to legal principles and within a legal framework. Landlords using the system who don't have a reasonable understanding of legal process can easily trip up on unforeseen hurdles. Failure to adhere to one or two rules can lead to your claim failing and you losing all the deposit money.

To succeed using any of the schemes' adjudication services, you should get expert advice.