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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 31: Proving Your Point

Tip 31: The Three Hurdles #2: Proving Your Point
Once you have successfully got your claim in front of the adjudicator, you need to prove that you deserve the money you are claiming. This is not necessarily as simple as it may sound.
Take for example a claim for rent arrears. In my experience, around half of all claims include an element of unpaid rent, which often relates to the end of the tenancy. You need to look at the claim systematically and analyse the different elements that you need to convince the adjudicator of in order to win. They might include:
That the tenancy was valid.
That the deposit can be used for rent arrears,
How much the rent was.
How much rent was paid and when.
The dates of the fixed term.
When and how the tenant gave notice.
Whether the notice was valid.
When the the notice took effect.
When you were able to gain possession of the property.
To successfully convince the adjudicator that the tenant is in arrears, you may need to submit evidence to prove any of the points above. On which points the claim turns will depend on your circumstances and on the defence strategy employed by the tenant. By this stage, however, we know the tenant isn’t going to roll over easily, so make sure you are properly prepared.
The same is true of disputes relating to damage. You need to systematically analyse your claim and work out the different elements that you need to prove. Once you have done that, you can work out what evidence you have for each element. Once you have completed your analysis, use the notes you have made to write out your claim.
Next week, money!
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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