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Monday, February 07, 2011

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 30: Administrative Errors

Tip 30: The Three Hurdles 
The next three tips are really important. If you only have time to read a few of these posts, read these ones.
There are three main hurdles to clear to be successful in deposit disputes. When preparing your claim, keep them in mind at all times.

#1. Administrative Errors

The deposit protection schemes want to do their best by you, but running an ADR service is a significant part of their operating costs. They have to employ a small office of people to send forms, answer emails, receive evidence and manage files, not to mention adjudicators, to read through the evidence and make decisions.
Between you and me, the schemes would rather you didn’t have disputes in the first place, so they wouldn’t have to go to the time and expense of resolving them for you. They can’t do much to minimise the number of claims that come in, but they can and do find ways of minimising the number of claims that are adjudicated.
The schemes each publish their rules on the internet. They differ in a few key areas but all give a clear breakdown of the administrative steps you need to take. Most pertinently, they give deadlines for sending in forms and evidence. If you fail to keep to the scheme rules, you are liable to have you claim thrown out, and for the other party to win in default. 
Dismissing claims for administrative errors dramatically reduces the burden on the ADR departments, which reduces the cost of providing the scheme. It may seem harsh if you are on the receiving end of it but, in fairness, it wouldn’t be practical to resolve such a large volume of disputes without a system of rules and deadlines. In any case, most of the time the schemes will bend the rules a little and grant the occasional extension provided you have a valid reason, ask nicely and make your request before the deadline has passed.
If you are making a claim, read the rules carefully and make sure you understand your responsibilities. If you don’t, you may lose your claim before it has even started.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an experienced deposit protection adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes.

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