Tenants Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS)
From 6th April 2007, in England and Wales, if you rent your property, the deposit for the property must be held in the following tenancy deposit schemes:
- My Deposits
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Capita Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Deposit Protection Service Insured
These schemes are protected by the government and they’ll ensure you will get the deposit back if you:
- Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- Don’t damage the property
- Pay your rent and bills
If any of the stated points are broken the landlord has the eligibility to claim back the funds of the deposit. If there is a dispute between the landlord and the tenant the money will be held by the deposit scheme until the dispute is sorted.
Here are some vital steps you might want to consider in case of possible disputes:
It is prudent to have a carefully drafted Tenancy Agreement that can be used to support reasonable claims regarding a deposit. All adjudications will rely on this Agreement as the contract binding both landlord and tenant, so it is advisable to seek independent legal advice when drafting it.
When the tenancy begins, we recommend you complete an Inventory and Schedule of Condition that are sufficiently detailed, clearly set out signed and dated by both parties. An Inventory can help you measure any damage at the end of the tenancy, and it pays to include the condition and age of items in the Schedule of Condition.
It is advisable to supply the tenant with written guidance on how to present the property on vacation for check-out. This is a great opportunity to remind tenants of specific clauses and requirements in the Tenancy Agreement regarding standards of cleaning or professional cleaning. Vacating Instructions can also be used as evidence in a dispute.
It is advisable to conduct your check-out as soon as is practical during daylight hours, allowing time to complete the report carefully. Both parties should be present for any issues to be raised, and detailed notes (signed and dated by both parties) should outline any disrepair or damage, detailing discrepancies with the ingoing Inventory.
The widespread access to digital cameras means photos can now be an invaluable form of evidence. Pictures are increasingly used in Inventories and check-outs as a comparison tool, so taking accurate jointly verified photos before the tenant crosses the threshold could help you to avoid a dispute in the future.
Estimates, invoices and receipts
These documents are relevant to any necessary work that has been done or will be done in the future. They should be legible and dated, making clear reference to the property in question and to the relevant area of the house (ie ‘repair to kitchen work surface underneath window’).
It may be wise to keep copies of all correspondence between parties (including emails, faxes and letters), and if necessary record telephone and face-to-face conversations that might be relevant later. Evidence based adjudication will rely purely on direct evidence, so it’s advisable to record it as it happens.
Request a Valuation