A Comprehensive Guide On Tenancy Deposit Dispute Claims

Tenancy Deposit Claims

When a tenant moves into a property, it is common for the landlord to ask for a deposit. This is usually done to protect the landlord against unpaid rent or damages caused later on. According to the Housing Act of 2004, deposits should be legally placed into a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection(TDP) Scheme. However, you might find yourself in a tenancy deposit dispute with your landlord, and you are confused about where to start. Worry not, as the below guide will comprehensively cover what happens in a tenancy dispute claim and how to go about it. Read on;

What Is A Tenancy Deposit?

Also known as a security deposit, it is a sum of money usually paid by a tenant before they move into a rental property. It is typically paid with the first month’s rent once the tenancy agreement has been signed and before the tenant moves in. As mentioned above, the landlord is legally entitled to use the deposit for repairs and unpaid rent, but they should not use it to pay for damages caused by wear and tear.

What Is A Tenancy Deposit Claim?

If you notice that your landlord failed to protect your tenancy deposit, you are entitled to compensation. This is where a tenancy deposit claim comes in. By law, the landlord should protect your deposit within 30 days of receiving it to prevent them from using the money for their personal issues. This also ensures that the deposit is protected once the tenancy is over. They can do this through the following schemes: the custodial and insurance-based deposit schemes. The custodial one holds the deposit for free, while the insured deposit scheme involves the landlord putting the money in their bank account and allowing the scheme to insure it.

What You Should Know Before Submitting A Tenancy Deposit Claim

You have up to 90 days after the end of your tenancy to submit a dispute claim to the adjudicator.
Whoever starts the tenancy dispute, be it the landlord or the tenant, the other party is obligated to respond within 14 days. The landlord will need to prove that the claim is legitimate because the adjudicator will assume that the tenant deposit money belongs to the tenant.

Types Of Evidence To Submit In A Tenancy Security Deposit Claim

Numerous evidence can be submitted to the adjudicator to prove that the landlord is at fault. These include:

The Tenancy Agreement

This is crucial, and you should never lose it no matter what happens. The adjudicator will have to check the agreement to confirm the validity of the deposit deduction. If no clauses agree to the deductions, then there is a high likelihood that the deposit deductions will be dismissed.

Photographic Evidence

If you have photos or videos showing the date when the agreement was made and the deposits done, the adjudicator may accept it as evidence.

Rent Payment Proof

If possible, please provide bank statements or receipts that show that you have been paying rent if the landlord claims any unpaid rent.

Check-In And Check-Out Reports

The check-in and check-out reports will come in handy, as they will show the adjudicator the validity of your claim. However, if the landlord has never given you a check-in or check-our report, they have no evidence to justify their claim. This, however, can be disputed if you had agreed in writing that you had caused damage. These include emails, SMSs, and even Whatsapp texts.

Witness Statements

These will also come in handy. However, for their statements to be considered as proof, then the following should be included:

  • The name and address of the witness.
  • The date that the statement was done.
  • A comprehensive list of the facts of the claim.
  • The name and signature of the witness at the bottom of the document.

Tenancy deposit claims are not a walk in the park. However, it will be a breeze with the right attorney for you. They will check to see if your tenancy deposit has been protected, and if not, seek compensation on your behalf. Most of them work on a contingency basis, so you will not pay any upfront costs until they win the case. Isn’t that amazing? Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, ensure that you get an experienced lawyer who will guide you through this journey. Also, ensure that you collect any available evidence to build your case.