Increasing numbers of tenancy deposit disputes are being resolved through mediation, rather than the adjudication process, according to figures from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
The research found that the number of deposit disputes between landlords and tenants that are resolved before going to adjudication has risen by 31% in England and Wales, 18% in Scotland and 56% in Northern Ireland over the past 12 months.
The TDS, which offers an early resolution process to help landlords and tenants reach an amicable settlement through its deposit protection schemes, says that less than 1% of the tenancy deposits that it protects in England and Wales end in a dispute.
While 17,628 dispute cases were recorded between April 2018 and March 2019, of that figure, 23% were resolved in the pre-adjudication stages.
Alison MacDougall, the Director of Dispute Operations at the TDS, says: “Resolving disputes over how the tenancy deposit should be divided quickly is beneficial for both the landlord and the tenant.
“That’s why we actively open a dialogue between the parties, to secure a swift and amicable agreement.”
She feels that mediation works best: “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.”
Landlords, don’t forget that you are legally obliged to protect your tenant’s deposit in one of three Government-approved schemes – the TDS being one of them. Our guide to following the law correctly can be found here: https://www.landlordnews.co.uk/guides/a-landlords-guide-to-tenancy-deposits-2/
You are also reminded that security deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent from 1st June 2019, under the new Tenant Fees Act – more information can be found here: https://www.landlordnews.co.uk/category/tenant-fees-ban/