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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 11: Proving Rent Arrears

Tip 11: Keep a Schedule of the Rent Account
A substantial amount of disputes resolved by the deposit protection schemes ADR departments involve a claim for unpaid rent. Bearing in mind, as discussed last week, that the onus is on you as landlord or letting agent to prove that your claim on the deposit is justified, it is imperative that you keep an accurate record of how much you are paid and when.
Larger landlord and agents using letting management software are at an advantage, as they can simply print out the relevant page. Small landlords and buy to let investors would be well advised to keep an accurate schedule of payments received for exactly this purpose. An up to date rent book is also perfectly acceptable as evidence, although rent books seem increasingly outdated as we move away from a cash economy.
I also advise that you keep a separate bank account for your business transactions. The best way to show conclusively whether a payment has been made is to submit a copy of the relevant bank statement in evidence. No-one likes to show other people their personal current account statement and, equally, adjudicators don’t want to search through your personal transactions to find the relevant evidence. If you must send in your current account statements, don’t blank out details with a marker pen unless you have to, as you will only make the adjudicator suspicious.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes.

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