21 October 2010
mydeposits.co.uk, has released key advice on how landlords and tenants can avoid a dispute over the return of a deposit at the end of a tenancy.
Survey findings revealed the main reasons for disputes are a disagreement about how much of the deposit should be held by the landlord to cover cleaning costs or repair damage to the property. Redecoration without the landlord's permission and unpaid bills also lead to disputes.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits.co.uk, said:
"We recommend the landlord and tenant meet when the tenant is moving out, inspect the property together and come to an agreement over the amount of deposit to be returned. This avoids taking the matter through to the dispute resolution process - and the tenant will get an agreed amount of deposit back straight away.
"The good news is the vast majority of tenancies end without problems at the end of the lease, with no dispute raised. Communication between both parties is the key."
The tenancy deposit protection scheme has found that two thirds of disagreements end up being settled between the landlord and tenant without proceeding to formal dispute resolution.
Since the mydeposits.co.uk scheme started in April 2007, over 33,000 tenants have enquired about raising a dispute, but only one-third formally lodged one.
If the deposit is protected by mydeposits.co.uk and no agreement can be reached, the tenant can apply for the free dispute resolution service. This is impartial and evidence-based with each case decided on by an independent adjudicator.
The law requires landlords to protect deposits with a government-approved scheme, such as mydeposits.co.uk, within 14 days of receiving it. mydeposits.co.uk is the only scheme that allows landlords to hold onto the money during the tenancy, and gives them the freedom to discuss the deposit return to the tenant without involving others.
mydeposits.co.uk was recently nominated as a finalist in the prestigious Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Awards for Excellence, for helping resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.
For more information visit www.mydeposits.co.uk or call 0844 980 0290.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Mydeposits is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver an insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from Communities & Local Government. Landlords and letting agents wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and register by visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk. Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible. In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.