At Whites, we require a deposit of one months rent plus £200 on managed properties. Whites hold this in a separate bonded account. Interest earned will be retained by Whites Lettings to reimburse the costs involved in managing and paying for membership of the Tenancy Dispute Service, and maintaining a bonded client account. The deposit is for any damage caused by the Tenant, or unfair wear and tear, or non payment of rent.
Whites are members of “The Dispute Service”. Where there is no dispute at the end of the tenancy, the deposit will be returned promptly. Where there is a dispute about the deposit then the matter will be referred to “The Dispute Service”. They may require the deposit either in its entirety or part of to be transferred to them for adjudication.
Where the Landlord holds the deposit this has to be held in a separate bonded account and the Landlord needs to be a member of a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. For the private Landlord this can either be custodial or membership annually to a scheme. Please see ARLA’s website for a fuller explanation:http://www.arla.co.uk/information-guides/property-guides/deposit-protection-guide
The prescribed information relevant to whichever scheme you choose will be served on the tenant to comply with the latest legislation.
Whites will forward the deposit to you at the at the outset of the tenancy as a separate payment.
The Landlord must then register it with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme within 30 days of the tenancy start date if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you fail to do so, the Tenant can take legal action against the Landlord in the County Court. The Court will make an order stating that the Landlord must pay the Deposit back to the Tenant or lodge it with the custodial scheme which is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme. In addition a further order will be made requiring the Landlord to pay compensation to the Tenant this could be an amount up to three times the Deposit. The Landlord will be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice on the Tenant until compliance with the above conditions and the Court will not grant the Landlord a possession order. We have no liability for any loss suffered if the Landlord fails to comply.
One private solution is offered by visiting: http://www.depositprotection.com/
Whites is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is administered by:
The Dispute Service Ltd
PO Box 541
Phone: 0845 226 7837
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 01494 431123
If we are instructed by you to hold the Deposit we shall do so under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
The Agent holds tenancy deposits as a Stakeholder (see Tenancy Agreement)
If there is no dispute we will keep any amounts agreed as deductions where expenditure has been incurred on behalf of the Landlord, or repay the whole of the deposit according to the conditions of the Tenancy Agreement with the Landlord and Tenant. Payment of the Deposit will be made within 10 days.
If after 10 days following a notification of a dispute to the Agent and if reasonable attempts have been made in that time to resolve any differences of opinion, there remains an unresolved dispute between the Landlord and Tenant over the allocation of the Deposit it will be submitted to the ICE for adjudication.
When the amount in dispute is over £5000.00, the Landlord and Tenant will agree by signing the agreement to submit the dispute to formal arbitration through the engagement of a arbitrator appointed by the ICE although, with written consent of both parties, the ICE may at his discretion accept the dispute for adjudication. The appointment of the arbitrator will incur an administration fee to be fixed by the Board of The Dispute Service Ltd from time to time, shared equally between the Landlord and the Tenant. The liability for any subsequent costs will be dependent upon the award by the arbitrator.
The statutory rights of either the Landlord or the Tenant(s) to take legal action against the other party remain unaffected.
It is not compulsory for the parties to refer the dispute to the ICE for adjudication. The parties may, if the party chooses to do so, seek the decision of the Court. However, this process may take longer and may incur further costs. Judges may, because it is a condition of the Tenancy Agreement signed by both parties, refer the dispute back to the ICE for adjudication. If the parties do agree that the dispute should be resolved by the ICE, they must accept the decision of the ICE as final and binding.
If there is a dispute we must remit to The Dispute Service Ltd the full Deposit, less any amounts already agreed by the parties and paid over to them. This must be done within 10 working days of being told that a dispute has been registered whether or not you or we want to contest it. Failure to do so will not delay the adjudication but The Dispute Service Ltd will take appropriate action.
The Agent/we must cooperate with the ICE in the adjudication of the dispute and follow any recommendations concerning the method of the resolution of the dispute.