Painsmith Landlord and Tenant Blog

A practitioners landlord and tenant law blog from PainSmith Solicitors

TDS, Evidence, and Bias

We often hear allegations that tenancy deposit protection schemes are biased towards tenants. This, in part, conceals a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of a deposit.

The tenant’s deposit belongs to the tenant and continues to do so until such time as the landlord becomes entitled to make reasonable deductions from it. Therefore the default position is that all the deposit should be returned to the tenant unless the landlord demonstrates that the deposit should be sent to them. This is not bias but the correct application of the law.

It is for landlords to show that the tenant’s deposit or parts of it should be passed to them by providing evidence of the tenant’s breaches of the tenancy agreement. This should be weighed on the balance of probabilities but the landlord will need to provide solid evidence that the loss or damage has occurred and that the valuation placed on it is realistic. Where this is not provided or the tenant provides evidence to the contrary then the money should be returned to the tenant.

In summary, the various schemes are no more biased than the Courts. They start from the proposition that the money belongs to the tenant and require the landlord to show that it should be given to them. Where insufficient evidence of that proposition is provided then the money will be returned to the tenant.

Accusations of bias toward tenant should perhaps be viewed as an admission that the landlord could not make a strong enough case. Looking at the statistics it can be seen that the schemes make awards almost equally to both parties. Given that they should be starting from the premise that the money is the tenant’s this shows that landlords do relatively well from scheme adjudications.

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    This article appears to be at odds with a statement on the Mydeposits website, which suggests that 91% of “Disputed” deposits are returned to tenants.

  2. PainSmith says:

    That is not what the press release says. It says that in 91% of cases the tenant gets some or all of their deposit back. The largest scheme, which deals with many more disputes than both the others put together awards money back on an almost 50/50 split.
    Therefore the MyDeposits statement agrees with my primary point that most landlords fail to understand what they can claim for and seek too much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

Have you tried the PainSmith toolbar?

Useful links and access to the PainSmith blog in a convenient toolbar within your web browser. Available from: painsmithlettingshelper.ourtoolbar.com/
%d bloggers like this: