Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Ebook On How To Win Deposit Disputes Available NowDeposit Claim - How To Wind Deposit Protection Disputes Claim

If you are looking for advice on How To Win Deposit Disputes, this book has it all.

Written by me, it condenses all the advice I give to landlords on a daily basis into one book. It explains everything, from why the odds are stacked against the landlord and how to change them in your favour, to how to calculate the value of your claim and how to present your case to avoid the common pitfalls.

At just £12, it is by far and away the best value way to access my unique expert advice.

 

 

“It is one of those rare things that could literally save landlords thousands of pounds” Ben Reeve Lewis – The Home Saving Expert

 

“I would advise ALL landlords who are facing a tenancy deposit adjudication to read this book” Tessa Shepperson, solicitor and landlord and tenant specialist

 

How To Win Deposit Disputes is published by Your Law Store and is on sale now. Get your copy here

 
Deposit Claim - How To Wind Deposit Protection Disputes ClaimClaim Deposit legal advice My deposits DPS TDS arbitration adjudication
 

Welcome to Deposit Claim

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Welcome to depositclaim.com, the online resource for landlords making claims on protected deposits. Claiming can be frustrating, stressful and time consuming. We aim to give you all the information you need to be in control of the process and, above all, to get the money you need to keep your property in good condition.

If you have a deposit protection problem, we can help you:

We help landlords, tenants and letting agents who need help with any aspect of deposit protection. We most commonly help landlords to claim protected deposits, but also help tenants recover overpaid rents, landlords who are sued under deposit protection legislation, agents having trouble claiming on behalf of landlords

Have a look around the site. You’ll see we know what we’re talking about and are the only people offering specialist deposit protection advice.

Claim Deposit legal advice My deposits DPS TDS arbitration adjudication

 

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Monday, March 28th, 2011
 
As a landlord, the onus is on you to take action to avoid deposit disputes and to ensure that you win the ones that you cannot avoid. There are a few things that you can do that will really help.
 

 
 
1. Tenancy Agreement
 
Without a signed tenancy agreement you can forget all about winning any dispute. That said, just getting a pre formatted tenancy agreement from WH Smiths may not protect you as well as you hope. There is no substitute for spending half an hour with a lawyer you trust when it comes to getting a legally compliant agreement that contains all the clauses you need for your particular circumstances. It may cost a bit more, but you will probably reuse it many times during your letting career.
 
 
2. Protect The Deposit
 
If you don’t protect the deposit properly, you run the risk of losing the dispute on a technicality. If you don’t protect it at all, you may end up giving all the deposit back to avoid being sued by the tenant…   …or worse.
 
 
3. Get An Inventory
 
Landlords who do their own inventories or, worse, don’t bother at all, are leaving themselves wide open. Without a record of what the property was like when the tenant moved in, they could gut the place and you might not win a claim on the deposit. I’ve blogged about inventories before here.
 
 
4. Hold A Check Out Meeting
 
It is considered best practice to invite the tenant to the check-out meeting. I have heard rumours that some adjudicators are now insisting on it, although I haven’t seen any evidence yet. Invite the tenant by email if possible, so you can prove you did so, and if they want you to reschedule the meeting and it’s not too much bother, do so. The statistics show that where the tenant attends a check-out with the landlord or inventory clerk, they are much less likely to dispute your claim on the deposit.
 
 
5. Give The Tenant A Notice Of Dilapidations Within 10 Days
 
If you do have to claim on the deposit, give the tenant notice of what you intend to claim for and an estimated cost within 10 days. Some of the schemes insist on it and it is good practice in any case. If your estimates turn out to be inaccurate, explain why to the tenant. Don’t add items after the 10 day deadline unless you really have to. It looks bad if the amount keeps going up and up. It will only make the tenant want to dispute your claim, where a small compromise on cost might save you a lengthy dispute.

Tom Derrett is a Deposit Protection Consultant and runs ADR Solution, helping landlords and letting agents to claim protected deposits.

Negotiating a Settlement in a Deposit Protection Dispute

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
If, at the end of the tenancy, you and your tenant cannot agree over the distribution of the deposit, tempers can flare. Often relations break down entirely between landlord and tenant and both sides are reduced to communicating by increasingly acrimonious emails.
 
 
If your relationship with your ex-tenant is strained, you could be missing out on your best opportunity to resolve the matter quickly and painlessly.

You probably only have a short window to agree an amicable solution before you end up having to go through a long and stressful formal dispute resolution process.

 
It can be difficult, or impossible, to have a rational discussion with the tenant once the situation has become emotive, but help is available. We are able to negotiate with your ex-tenant on your behalf to try to resolve the situation before it is too late. You simply brief us on the substance of the dispute, and how much you are willing to settle for.
 
We have formal training in legal negotiation and are able to put your case in the best light while maintaining a detached, business relationship with the tenant. Here is what one of our recent clients had to say:

It was a great relief that you offered to negotiate with the tenants on my behalf. This saved me a lot of time and concern and resulted in a quick resolution.
Mr Vyas. Landlord
 
If you are struggling to deal with your ex-tenant, why not talk to us about negotiating with the tenant on your behalf.
 

Landlord Assist

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

I am very pleased to say that we is now helping Landlord Assist clients.

http://www.landlordassist.co.uk/page12311016.aspx

Landlord Assist offer a wide range of legal and property services to residential and commercial landlords. We are very pleased to be an official partner.

Small Claims Court As An Alternative To Deposit Protection ADR

Friday, February 11th, 2011
 
Several people have asked my opinion recently on using the small claims court as an alternative to pursuing a dispute through the deposit protection schemes. In the most part, this comes in response to adverse decisions from the schemes which appeared unjustified. One letting agent in particular felt that judgments from small claims action were more predictable than adjudication decisions, but when I asked some more about how they operate it turned out that the agent herself was traipsing off to court every time and spending at least half a day waiting for the case to be heard, and well over two hours in the hearing every time.
 
As we all know, deposit protection disputes are resolved on the basis of paper submissions, and don’t involve a hearing. If you opt for the small claims court, you are most likely to have the opportunity of having your claim heard in open court, where the judge can question the parties on their evidence. If your written submissions aren’t clear, you will have a better chance of getting your point across in court than in a deposit dispute, where the adjudicator only has your written statement to go on. If, on the other hand, your written claim is properly made out, you will get the result you deserve from a deposit protection adjudicator.
 
Courts are also expensive, whereas deposit disputes are free of charge. Your court fee may only be £100 or so for a low value case, but then there is your time in attending. That’s half a day, at least, where you are not making any money because you are sitting, chewing your nails in an airless court waiting area. Paying someone else to attend the hearing on your behalf is not always advisable, because you will almost certainly get the pupil barrister or the most junior person in the office, not that you would know it from their fees. If you choose to attend yourself to save money, be prepared to be confronted by the very well informed lawyer that your tenant has engaged on a no-win no-fee basis. 
 
To avoid the expense of court, you may opt not to attend the hearing, and not to send anyone else in your place. This is perfectly proper, but it effectively means you are voluntarily accepting all the disadvantages of a deposit dispute by restricting your claim to written evidence, while the tenant enjoys all the advantages of a hearing in person. This imbalance will not help your chances of winning.
 
You should also consider the potential for for having to pay the other side’s costs, even in small claims. Even if you lose a deposit dispute, the other side cannot claim costs against you. If you lose in court, you usually find yourself with a bill for at least some of the other side’s legal fees. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.
 
Then of course there’s the lengthy delays waiting for a court date, compared to deposit disputes, which usually are resolved within a matter of weeks; and the difficulty in enforcing county court judgments against slippery tenants. We’ve all heard of cases where landlords have won their court case, only to find the tenant persuades the judge to let them pay back the debt at just a few pounds a month, meaning it might be years until they’ve paid what you are owed. Even worse, sometimes they just disappear, leaving you with the stark choice of writing off the debt, or paying out more money to a debt collection firm.
 
All things considered, in the majority of cases, I would rather prep my evidence properly and take my chances with an adjudicator, than get involved in all that stress just over a deposit.
 
By way of a footnote, however, there are also cases that simply cannot be adequately resolved by the schemes, which might include claims for damages in excess of the deposit. The deposit protection schemes can only award you the deposit, whereas a court is not limited to a fixed amount.