Deposit Adjudicator Takes The P**s

Posted: 3/2/2019

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A deposit adjudicator has well and truly taken the p**s by awarding a landlord only 25% of the cost of repairs and replacements for a urine-soaked property. The adjudicator from the Letting Protection Service (NI), one of the the statutory approved schemes under Deposit Protection legislation reviewed a deposit dispute where a tenant had allowed their dog to urinate over laminate flooring and carpet. Despite being a dental hygienist, and one would have thought to be a little bit more conscious of good hygiene, the east Belfast tenant decided that it was OK to leave the property in that condition. At one point she even agreed in writing that the landlord could keep the full deposit; the damages exceeded this. But when she changed her mind, the LPSNI adjudicator decided that written agreements were not binding! The adjudicator reviewed all of the evidence and agreed that the tenant was at fault and that the damages exceeded fair wear and tear. However, despite him noting that the inward condition report recorded the fittings in the property as "new", he decided that they were not and that the landlord should only receive 25% towards the costs of repairs and replacements. In fact, the landlord had just spent a considerable amount of money ensuring that the house was up to a high standard for his new tenant. As dog lovers, both the landlord and this agency thought that we were being very considerate to the tenant. As is so often the case nowadays, many people lack the common decency to repay such consisderation. This deposit decision has meant that we have had to advise all landlords not to accept pets. Shame. The deposit decision was reviewed and although LPSNI agreed that they had made errors, they still upheld the decision and sent money back to the tenant. LPSNI were asked to comment on this matter but declined to do so. The landlord is now considering legal action. This agency withdrew its tenants' deposits from LPSNI over concerns about traceability and transparency. Tenants' deposits are now protected by TDS NI. 

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