Rise in Tenancy Deposit Disputes being settled before adjudication

tenancy deposit claim

Good news for tenants up and down the country who are afraid to challenge their landlord, as tenancy deposit disputes are being resolved by agreement without the need to go to a third-party adjudicator.

Figures from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and its sister organisations, TDS Northern Ireland and SafeDeposits Scotland, show a welcome move towards tenants and landlords resolving tenancy deposit disputes outside of court.

By law, every landlord must protect their tenants’ deposit within a protection scheme. Through these protection schemes, tenants can raise a dispute if they disagree with a possible deduction from their deposit. Agents and landlords can also raise a dispute, and both parties are encouraged to submit evidence to the protection scheme.

TDS’s alternative dispute resolution team have this year introduced an early resolution step which helps both parties reach an amicable settlement, without the need to go through a formal adjudication process. Through their system, both parties can send their proposal and counter proposals, eventually coming to compromise both are happy with.

The dispute resolution may involve several solutions, but the most beneficial for both parties is to get the matter settled without the need of a third-party adjudicator due to costs. It is also preferential for both parties to settle outside of court for the same reason.

The Tenancy Deposit dispute figures

The stats, released by TDS earlier this year, show a sharp rise in cases being settled amicably. Disputes that are resolved before going to adjudication have risen by 31% in England and Wales, 18% in Scotland and 56% in Northern Ireland over the past 12 months.

TDS stated that fewer than 1% of the tenancy deposits it protects in England and Wales end in a dispute.

Of the 17,628 cases between April 2018 and March 2019, 23% were resolved in the pre-adjudication stage. 

Beneficial to both tenant and landlord

Clearly, this development is a step in the right direction for both tenants and landlords who do not wish to be spending their time fighting over a tenancy deposit. As more and more people rent in the UK, it is a welcome move towards a more harmonious relationship between the two parties.

Director of Dispute Operations at TDS, Alison MacDougall, said of the development:

Resolving disputes over tenancy deposits is beneficial for both the tenant and landlord. It’s why we open up a dialogue between parties to secure an amicable and swift agreement.

Disputes can be tense for parties involved in a tenancy, but we find that by facilitating a negotiation, we can help defuse situations and settle disagreements quickly and fairly.  The parties all benefit from keeping control of the decision rather than asking a third party to make a decision for them.

It is also a welcome sign for tenants who wish to bring a dispute against their landlord but fear repercussions. It shows them that disputes can be solved quickly and in a way that is not detrimental to them, as many tenants may fear revenge evictions and similar retaliations.

How can Tenancy Deposit Claims help?

While this is a positive sign for tenants, many landlords are still failing to protect their tenants’ deposit into schemes like the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Without schemes like this, amicable resolution in relation to tenancy deposit disputes may not be possible at all.

By law, under the Housing Act 2004, your landlord is obligated to protect your tenancy deposit into one of three Government approved deposit protection schemes. These schemes are:

If you have been told by your landlord that the deposit is protected but it is not in any of these three schemes, you may have a claim for compensation. You may also have a claim if your landlord has simply failed to tell you where the deposit is protected.

If you are struggling to find out whether your tenancy deposit has been protected, our team of experts are more than happy to assist. We can let you know if you have a claim within a couple of days.

At Tenancy Deposit Claims, we have a dedicated team who are used to dealing with landlords, day in, day out. We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way.

Not only this, your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. This means your compensation claim could be worth anything up to:

Amount of Deposit Potential Claim Worth
£100 £300
£250 £750
£500 £1,500
£750 £2,250
£1,000 £3,000
£1,500 £4,500
£2,000 £6,000
£3,000 £9,000

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours.

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

Glossary and key bits of info

Adjudication means a decision about a Dispute made by an Adjudicator.

Adjudicator is a person appointed by a tenancy deposit scheme to resolve disputes. “Adjudicator” can include a mediator, arbitrator or other expert appointed to resolve a dispute by means other than litigation (therefore, avoiding court).

ADR means alternative dispute resolution provided by tenancy deposit schemes to facilitate the resolution of disputes as an alternative to court proceedings.

TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) is one of three Government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales. The other two schemes are Deposit Protection Service, and My Deposits. By law, your landlord should have protected your deposit in one of these schemes. If they have not, you may eligible for compensation.

Housing Act 1988 – The Housing Act 1988 covers a large amount of areas and decrees in relation to most of the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. You can read it here.

Housing Act 2004 – This act covers the legal framework for tenancy deposit schemes. These schemes are intended to ensure good practice regarding tenancy deposits. They make dispute resolution relating to deposits easier. You can read it here.

For further information on TDS, please visit: https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/

For further information on SafeDeposits Scotland, please visit: http://www.safedepositsscotland.com/

For further information on TDS Northern Ireland, please visit: https://www.tdsnorthernireland.com/

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