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Monday, July 04, 2011

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 48: The 1st Tenant Defence

There are, in my experience, four standard tenant defences in deposit protection disputes. If you know what they are, you can ensure that you submit the right evidence to overcome them.

The first tenant defence is: It was like that when I moved in

Some damage has occurred during the tenancy that the tenant does not want to pay for. Their first and best line of defence is to deny all responsibility. This puts the onus on you, the landlord, to prove that the property was undamaged at the beginning of the tenancy.

Unfortunately, it is normally pretty difficult to prove this in retrospect, so to protect yourself against this defence, always make sure you get a proper detailed independent inventory at the beginning of every new tenancy. They are always worth it in the end. I am a big supporter of video inventories because, if they are done right, you get a detailed written report and close up images of every part of the property. If you can’t find a company to give you a video inventory then go for the inventory that gives you the most detail.

Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes. Tom helps landlords to claim money through the deposit protection schemes.

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