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  • FIRST POST
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 10th Oct 18, 8:08 PM
    • 48Posts
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    saver_ali
    DPS dispute resolution services tips for tenants submitting evidence?
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 18, 8:08 PM
    DPS dispute resolution services tips for tenants submitting evidence? 10th Oct 18 at 8:08 PM
    My son and his friends are trying to get the return of their student rental deposit, and have to send evidence to the DPS dispute resolution services. I would welcome tips or comments from anyone who has experience of the process.

    Their problem is that we dont know exactly what the landlords will be claiming for, so we dont know how much to include with our evidence.

    We have repeatedly asked the landlord to provide a clear and concise list of their claims, along with evidence, but they havent done so.

    According to the DPS terms and conditions, the landlord must tell us [i.e. DPS] the amount of each deduction you wish to make from the Deposit, and the reason why you are making the claim. If you have multiple reasons for requesting deductions, you will need to list all of them. The landlords havent done this, so we think they are in breach of the DPS terms and conditions.

    We have always wanted to use the dispute resolution services, as we feel confident of our case, but the landlords steadfastly refused to. They just wanted us to release the whole deposit to them, and have been using bullying/scare tactics. This has worked for them in previous years, where the past tenants have eventually given in to pressure and paid up. We spoke to the Universitys Student Union Advice Centre, who confirmed that the landlords are well known to them from previous student complaints. We are trying to get them to give us a witness statement.

    We were very pleasantly surprised when the landlords suddenly changed their minds about using the dispute resolution services. I know that its up to them to provide the evidence for any deductions. They dont appear to be very well organised, so Im hoping that they wont make a good case.

    But what should we submit? Should we try and guess what they might put in for, and give our counter evidence? If we miss something, then we are at risk of losing out.

    The landlords did an inspection just before check out, but they identified hardly any issues. We will submit this as evidence.

    Then five weeks after the kids moved out, the landlords sent a 13 page list containing 169 points, which bears no resemblance to the pre-check-out inspection. Their claims mostly fall into the categories of new for old/betterment, pre-existing, fair wear and tear, or simply untrue. Theyve sent a few receipts, but some of the dates have been scribbled out, so we think they are for work carried out before our tenancy. We also think they have been deliberately manufacturing claims we have some proof but I dont want to give details in case they read this!

    We were shell-shocked, but went through those 169 points carefully, and as a result we did release a small amount of the deposit for 4 items that we accepted.

    We don't know if the landlords will try and claim for all the remaining points. Should we submit a response to every point just in case, or will it open a can of worms if we bring up issues that the landlords dont? Maybe we should just pick out some of the key claims and give our response to those.

    One of my son's friends created her own time-stamped check-in inventory document, using special tenancy management software, with over 130 photos, and descriptions of damage present when they moved in. We can use this to prove that many of the claims were pre-existing (e.g. cracked tiles).

    We will also send our photos from the day they vacated the house, showing that it was left in a generally clean and tidy condition.

    We also have many emails, which demonstrate the bullying tactics and personal insults that my son and his friends were subjected to.

    Any thoughts, anyone?
Page 1
    • Autumnella
    • By Autumnella 12th Oct 18, 8:21 PM
    • 548 Posts
    • 2,361 Thanks
    Autumnella
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:21 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:21 PM
    When did the tenancy end and has the landlord raised all of the 169 points mentioned with the DPS? Have you tried contacting the DPS and if so what did they say? I would call them and ask that they release the deposit if the landlord hasn't raised the claim with them. It sounds like a reasonable amount of time has passed.

    I'm currently in a dispute with my landlord through the DPS. When I logged in to my account on their website it listed the 3 things that the landlord was claiming for. I just had to click if I accepted it or disputed it and for the 2 I disputed it then brought up a box with a brief description on why I disputed this.

    They then asked me to send any evidence via e-mail to them. They then refunded me the part that the landlord was not claiming for and paid the landlord the claim I accepted. They still hold the part that is in dispute. This was the end of August, I got an e-mail from them a couple of weeks ago to say they had a backlog with the arbitration service and were still in the process of dealing with the claim.
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 12th Oct 18, 8:47 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    saver_ali
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:47 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 18, 8:47 PM
    Hi. Thanks for your comments, which are very interesting. The landlord only stated one deduction, for damage to property contents, but didn't say what they were, just "receipts and invoices will be forwarded". We released a small amount, and the rest is in dispute.

    We emailed the DPS to say we were at a disadvantage as we didn't know what we were defending. They didn't respond, so I phoned them today. They said there was nothing they could do to help. We would just have to submit everything and anything!

    We are going to put a statement at the top of our evidence to say we believe the landlords to be in breach of the DPS Ts & Cs and ask them to award the remaining deposit to us.

    We're still going to have to submit our evidence in case that doesn't work!

    From your comments it looks like this will take a long time to resolve. 🙁
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 13th Oct 18, 10:30 AM
    • 4,730 Posts
    • 5,303 Thanks
    robatwork
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 10:30 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 10:30 AM
    Has the LL got any photos of the damage from when they moved out - never mind his receipts and descriptions?

    If no, and according to you, you have photos of moving in and moving out days, then your case is pretty rock solid.

    The LL evidence of their leaving-day inspection is the crucial part, not something weeks later.

    Don't fret - you'll win this easily if what you said is true.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 13th Oct 18, 1:23 PM
    • 17,051 Posts
    • 41,987 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 1:23 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 1:23 PM
    What you need to do is share your response to the 169 points raised. Share the contract (in case he tries to show another), the check in inventory (in case he shares another one), and check out inventory. If you have any pictures, include them.
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 13th Oct 18, 2:20 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    saver_ali
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 2:20 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 2:20 PM
    Thanks for your comments. I will include the tenancy agreement and various inventories then. I hadn't thought that they might send in different ones! Luckily their pre-exit inspection report was by email and therefore the date is proven.

    I will also include our response to the 169 points. I pity the Adjudicator having to wade through it all, but we have drafted a covering statement, listing the main points.

    The landlords have sent us quite a few photos, but with no labelling so it's hard to tell what they are of. I hope they are as disorganised when they submit their defence. Quite a lot of their photos can be countered with our check-in photos as pre-existing damage.

    We do worry that they will submit receipts and invoices that have been "doctored", but the best we can do is send in the ones that we know are false, and ask the Adjudicator to carefully scrutinise any others that are submitted.

    Thanks again. I will post the result on here, but the DPS have a backlog so I think it will be a long time before this is decided.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 13th Oct 18, 4:03 PM
    • 9,993 Posts
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    theartfullodger
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 4:03 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 4:03 PM
    Good luck! Follow DPS guidance, here...
    https://www.depositprotection.com/im-a-tenant/i-want-to-know-more-about-disputes/
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Oct 18, 6:25 AM
    • 17,051 Posts
    • 41,987 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 18, 6:25 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 18, 6:25 AM
    If you intend to counteract claims referring to check in photos, make sure you label these well.

    Remember that the person who will read it will know nothing of your situation, will have a huge workload and little time for each case. The easier to refer to each, the better change. I would put an index cover page to refer to the main counter claims.
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 14th Oct 18, 6:43 AM
    • 560 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    Craig1981
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 18, 6:43 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 18, 6:43 AM
    i did this in April for my brother and sister.
    once we requested deposit paid back, landlord agreed to partial, and wanted 500 for repairs, and listed two items. We then disputed, and agreed to the dispute (where decision made is final)
    so, we started with evidence - all emails to and from, telephone calls, photos etc. the inventory form moving and and out are both very important. you only have one chance to submit the evidence,, so make sure everything you want in there is in. focus on the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW, and you should be able to cover everything.

    once you know what they claiming for, get your own quotes for that item/repair. landlords cannot replace old for new, cannot claim wear and tear

    are the inventories done by a third party? was both inventories done within a day of you moving in/out? this too will help your case. if it is not done by a third party, and if the dates it were done were well before/past your tenancy dates. how long were you tenants for? again, the longer the time will help your case

    i went through DPS.... on their site they had a lot of case studies, which was very helpful in making my case, which was reduced to a payment of 50 only to the landlord
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 14th Oct 18, 7:02 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    saver_ali
    Thanks for the further, very helpful comments. The DPS guidance is very useful, especially the sample adjudications.

    Unfortunately we can't get access to the property to get our own quotes as the landlord wont allow it. New tenants are already there.

    The landlords' inventories are their own homemade ones. They did a pre checkout inspection with nothing major highlighted, so we're going to contrast that with their final inspection, completed a week after we left, in our absence, which introduced many new serious problems.

    We will label and cross reference everything. Thanks for the tip.

    Do you think the Adjudicator will read through everything? We've tried to summarise everything in a statement, which is about 15 pages, plus other documents to refer to (photos etc).
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 14th Oct 18, 7:12 PM
    • 1,051 Posts
    • 1,703 Thanks
    Slithery
    Unfortunately we can't get access to the property to get our own quotes as the landlord wont allow it. New tenants are already there.
    Originally posted by saver_ali
    Unfortunately you wouldn't have the right to do that even if the property was empty. The time for getting work for quotes would be before the tenancy ended, although I do appreciate that you had no knowledge of the proposed deductions beforehand.
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 15th Oct 18, 5:59 AM
    • 560 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    Craig1981
    Thanks for the further, very helpful comments. The DPS guidance is very useful, especially the sample adjudications.

    Unfortunately we can't get access to the property to get our own quotes as the landlord wont allow it. New tenants are already there.

    The landlords' inventories are their own homemade ones. They did a pre checkout inspection with nothing major highlighted, so we're going to contrast that with their final inspection, completed a week after we left, in our absence, which introduced many new serious problems.

    We will label and cross reference everything. Thanks for the tip.

    Do you think the Adjudicator will read through everything? We've tried to summarise everything in a statement, which is about 15 pages, plus other documents to refer to (photos etc).
    Originally posted by saver_ali
    IMHO, this will work in your favour. time dated photographs are key to this, and the onus is on them to prove the date and that damage was done by you.
    like said above, use a summary page and an index or appendix page, listing where everything is.
    in a week anything can happen with viewings, repairmen, gas service engineers etc visiting
    make sure you supply both inventories that were given to you, and make a key note on the dates of these.
    Have they also done a Condition Schedule? this will be key to claiming damages as well

    good luck
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 15th Oct 18, 8:46 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    saver_ali
    IMHO, this will work in your favour. time dated photographs are key to this, and the onus is on them to prove the date and that damage was done by you.
    like said above, use a summary page and an index or appendix page, listing where everything is.
    in a week anything can happen with viewings, repairmen, gas service engineers etc visiting
    make sure you supply both inventories that were given to you, and make a key note on the dates of these.
    Have they also done a Condition Schedule? this will be key to claiming damages as well

    good luck
    Originally posted by Craig1981
    Thanks. That's all very useful. What is a Condition Schedule?
    • Craig1981
    • By Craig1981 16th Oct 18, 5:24 AM
    • 560 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    Craig1981
    basically, they need to state specifically "Cooker, white, Bosch, small rust on rims, good working order, few scratches". they cannot state "White cooker"
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 16th Oct 18, 10:22 AM
    • 4,248 Posts
    • 14,509 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    One of my son's friends created her own time-stamped check-in inventory document, using special tenancy management software, with over 130 photos, and descriptions of damage present when they moved in. We can use this to prove that many of the claims were pre-existing (e.g. cracked tiles).
    Originally posted by saver_ali
    Just wanted to flag up that this was very pro-active and sensible, and all students should be advised to make the effort to do so.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • saver_ali
    • By saver_ali 17th Oct 18, 11:08 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    saver_ali
    Thanks for all the tips, everyone! Our evidence has now been submitted.

    What sort of information do we get back at the end of the process? Do the DPS give any reason for their decisions?
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