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  1. Thank you for this encouragement and no I am not going to let go of this. It is not about £750 now; it is about morals, professional ethics and the law. I actually don’t care about £750 but I just hate crooks. I forgot to mention maybe that I am also a landlord. I am a fair landlord who treat my tenants with dignity and respect and hardy have to advertise because i get so many referals. It may strengthen the case that it isnt just a tenant opposing this system, but a landlord trying to fight for justice as well. How strong is that? To show just how stupid the rules are- here are 3 imaginary scenarios (analogies) – Let’s pretend other industries work like Letting agents! Imaginary Scenario 1: I sell and buy my house and I commission a conveyancing solicitor for the job. Everything goes well and is fairly straight forward and then the solicitor lands me with a bill for £10,000. I flip my lid about the costs and demand a full inventory of accounts. I want to know how much he charges per hour, how many letters he wrote, how many phone calls he made and exactly how much he paid for various searches and documentation related to a house sale and purchase. He refuses to give me an inventory/statement of accounts and says it’s within his rights to demand £10,000 and there is nothing I can do about it. This is C***! Would anyone reading this pay a solicitor £10,000 without knowing what you are paying for? I was totally happy to pay £750 if indeed there was a legitimate reason. All I ever requested from the Letting agency was an inventory of work with supporting receipts. If they paid £500 to have the house decorated....fine. But where are the decorators invoice and the paint receipts and a detailed statement of work required. Would anyone here pay for anything when they didn’t know what it was for? I have just paid £750 and I haven’t a clue what I have paid for and this is legal!!!! Imaginary Scenario 2: You check into a hotel for £100 per night for 1 night and as per normal practice they swipe your debit or credit card. You have an express check out next day and go home and that is the end of that. However a month later you get your bank/credit card bill and find the hotel have taken £900 from your card instead of £100. Again you flip your lid and call the hotel demanding to know what the additional £800 was for. All they will tell you is that it was additional room service charges and as per example above – they refuse to give you an itemised list of what these charges have been made up from. If hotels treat your bill in the same way Letting Agents treat your bond, then in this crazy parallel universe nobody need ever know what they are paying for. You then demand a refund, but they tell you its too late because if you don’t demand a refund within 2 weeks tough luck and guess what, those are the rules and it’s all legal. However you only get your bank statement/credit card statement once a month so how could you possibly have responded to this situation within the 2 weeks allocated. However it’s not the hotels fault that you only get monthly statement and was in the dark about this so tough luck - there’s not a jot you can do about it. Real Scenario 1: My daughter plays tennis and I book her for an LTA sanctioned match at the weekend. If I withdraw her before the allotted closing date the refund goes directly into my PayPal account and I get an email to inform me the refund has been made. 3 days before the match the referee sends me an email to confirm attendance and I have to click an icon on the email to acknowledge receipt. If I don’t do this, the referee gets a message that I have not responded. Fearing the email has hit my spam account, the referee will then call both my home and mobile phone number until he/she can confirm we are attending. The sequence of play then goes live on the LTA site so I know the exact time, date, and location of the match. The communication chain has so far never failed me and it works like clockwork and all this is for a £12 competition. £12 is at stake here! Real Scenario 2: I have to log onto the DPS site to give my details etc. But I can’t do this because I don’t have a DPS ID number. My Landlord has never given me a DPS ID number or directives as to what to do or where my bond has been stored. I email the DPS & they fail to respond. I was later told they did respond, but and I quote.....”the email probably went in your spam box as most of our emails are mistaken for junk”. So, the DPS are aware that many of their emails won’t actually get to the client but that’s okay. Unlike the LTA they don’t have an automatic tick box to confirm receipt of email. So- how can I log on and inform them of where I live if nobody will give me an ID number to log on with. However, the Letting agent has given the DPS an email address- which either they didn’t use or perhaps was seen as spam, but who knows because they don’t even know if any of their emails are read or not. However bless them, they write to me (by snail mail) at a former address and expect by some miracle I will read this letter within a 2 week notice. Who has access to that former address? Ah yes, that would be the Letting Agents who don’t exactly have a vested interest in me reading this letter and contesting them. As for giving the post office forwarding email....what person in rental accommodation does this. Had someone explained the process to me then maybe I would have done this, but I only discovered the process this week because the communication here is just abysmal. The communication chain failed me, and all this for a £750 bond. LTA gets it right- for a £12 competion.... even though they cant produce a Wimbledon winner. Watch this space, my daughter is good! DPS gets it wrong for a £750 bond. Oh and in this parallel universe of “let’s deal with money as a Letting agent”..............it’s all legal. Talked to 3 people today – none of whom ever got their bonds back via the bond protection scheme. It is flawed.
  2. It was not a nice "parting of the waves". Long complicated story, but the Letting Agency manager was very intimidating and actually very nasty. I asked for an independent assessor to be allowed to inspect the house as I disagreed with her estimation of damage....For Example: (she said the carpets were dirty on the photos they took....yes they were dark because they were wet because I had just had them professionally cleaned 30 minutes prior). After they served the Section 21 they made it clear they wanted us out ASAP, so I endevoured to get out ASAP. So no- did not stay the full 2 months. I have since been informed: “ that on the solicitors affidavit it asks for a forwarding address plus a tick box re whether I have responded or not. As the agent PPM also had to show evidence that they have informed the tenant about the amount they want to claim and how it was made up”. I received no such communication. So my question is, if PPM Lettings lied on their affidavit about contacting me? I am not a legal person, but I doubt its legal to lie on an affidavit. PPM knew I was disputing this bond claim and as far as I am concerned and re any other details of who stayed for 2 weeks or 2 months...they concealed their claim from me. I had made DPS more than aware this was being taken to court and in my opinion, their flawed efforts to contact me (a letter to an address where I didnt live) ....failed. Re the Court case - yes I hired a solicitor and paid £190 for her costs and the court cost. She sat on this for 5 months and didnt process my case and didnt answer emails. Eventually we complained to her manager re her lack of action and the £190 was returned to me last week 6 months later. I feel let down all round. BUT....I am no longer interested in getting my bond back. If this company lied on a legal document, what would happen? (or is the legal system just happy for this to happen)..
  3. I suspect I am going to sound nerdy here- but to me the whole of life is a process and when things go wrong its called process failure. Its not rocket science. I am in medicine and we make lots of mistakes (we are only human), but when we make mistakes we have an inquest. We have a complaints commitee. We try to figure out what process failed that caused someones left leg to be amputated instead of their right leg and once we know where the error occured we introduce yet more process to ensure it doesnt happen again. We talk about it, we raise it at board meetings, we take failure very seriously. And if the new re-invented process fails we re-examine the process and re-invent as required and we have professional bodies and forums to ensure we do this. And thats medicine and everyone knows we are far from perfect. So simply - the DPS has a process and ithe process failed me and therefore it is faulty. A good process would not have failed me. This process paid £750 deposit back to a unregistered letting agent with a terrible reputation despite the fact that I informed the DPS that the bond was being disputed. I could go into detail but wont bother because its just simple- thei DPS process failed to protect a tenant against an unfair recovery of bond. So I want to know which authority I approach to inform them of this faulty process so they can correct it and stop it happening again and again and again and again and again. You wouldnt want Drs to treat you badly so whats so different. How do I get the process changed so it works and until it works I will warn people not to use DPS or any Letting Agency that does.
  4. I am not going to sue as its too much hassle. However without sounding condescending...how many tenants really understand the law and legal process and their rights etc etc. We just innocently believe there is some fairy Godmother process in place that protects people who dont understand. Not everyone has a degree in law. The Letting Agent failed to explain this process and did not ever forward the deposit ID number. Basically why should they care. The DPS failed to respond to some 30 or 40 emails telling them that the bond was in dispute and was going through a small courts claim (as at the time it was). The DPS failed to respond, as why should they care? My Solicitor failed to give me any advice and dropped the case- why should she care? Well hang on a moment - there is one organisation who "should care" and are employed to care. The DPS have been put in place to protect people like me. They didnt - they failed! I understand the other 2 main agencies do allow you to change address and correspondance details on their websites and do offer good customer service. So all I can say to anyone is DO NOT USE DPS. They lost me my money because basicall they dont care. I care enough to take the time to create this post so other people like me who dont have a clue about the law do not get stung in the same way....because I DO care.
  5. Hi RJ: When you say agents arnt registed with ARLA - do you mean the Letting agent PPM? Would I have had some sort of comeback had they been registered? Steve: yes did speak to some call centre person at DPS....and I never did receive a letter or email from them to confirm my ID number or any process at all. I rented 2 houses in the past and both were lodged with DPS and on neither occastion did DPS write to me. With regards to the 2nd house, all they had from the letting agent was my email address anyway- so they wouldnt be able to write to me anyway. I know this is a small amount, but it is a large amount to me!
  6. All tenants of rental property who have their deposits secured in DPS, be aware of a legal loophole which could prevent you getting your bond returned at the end of your tenancy. Recently I rented a property from PPM Letting agency in Wigan for 2 years and got it for a reasonable price in times when it was hard to rent property. However then the property market became buoyant and the letting agency (PPM) saw the chance of getting more money,so they issued me with a Section 21 to get me out of the property so they could rent the house for a better price. I was given 2 months to leave, but I handed the keys back within 2 weeks....fully paid up (as can be shown on my bank statements and as I am a business, audited by an accountant). The house was a lovely detached property and when we left we had the "white carpets" cleaned, as well as the house cleaned and gardens brought up to scratch. However the Letting agency kicked up a fuss about minor stupid things and made it clear I would never get my deposit back, even though it was in a DP scheme. As a normal punter I knew nothing about these schemes but the agents seemed very confident I would never see my money again. They had good reason to be confident as they had discovered a legal loop hole in the system. I refused to sign their final inspection form because I disputed their claims, I requested that an independent assessor be allowed in to inspect the home as I did not believe or trust their judgement as to its condition. The assessor was not allowed entry when the intitial date/time could not be complied with, and that was the end of that! PPM rentals would not give me my deposit ID number and despite many emails the “Deposit Protection Scheme” agency known as DPS failed to respond. I emailed DPS several times to inform them that the bond was in dispute, quoting the address only as I didnt have an ID number- but had no response. What happened next: The agency had apparently sited “Rent arrears, damages, cleaning & replacement items” as the reason for reclaiming my bond and completed a Statutory Declaration, in accordance with Section 21 of the DP companies Terms and Conditions countersigned by a solicitor. DPS advised that as this was a legal document sworn to and witnessed by a solicitor I had very little legal comeback. Re the charges....all lies! I had bank and accountancy records which showed zero bank arrears. Aside from one door which I would have replaced, there were no other damages. Had I known about these accusations I would have contested them, but I didnt know. HERE,S THE STING: Yep here it the totally legal loophole which meant my £750 was returned to the letting agency against my will and knowledge: Why did I not dispute these false charges? Because after I had handed the keys back on Aug 17th 2011, the DPS wrote to me in Nov 2011 at the rental address and giving me 2 weeks to respond and my failure to do so would result in my money being returned to the agency. So question: How could I pick the letter up when I was no longer a tenant of the property they wrote to? Duhhhhh. It seems this is legally acceptable practice. I argued with DPS that surely every tenant seeking a return of bond would never live at the former property, so why is it DPS policy to do write to them at an address they no longer live. This was not sent by registered post, and yet that letter had a value of £750 to me, so they dont even have proof of receipt. The only contact details the letting agency gave to DPS was my email address. So I asked DPS why they had not tried to contact me via my email address. They had no reply and just blamed me. I asked if there was a governing body I could go to in order to complain about the practice of both the letting agency and DPS- and I was simply told "CAB". They didnt really care. I am shocked that an organisation who were supposed to be fair and protect the interest of both parties, in this instance protected the letting agency and just gave my money away despite me sending around 20 to 30 emails to them informing them this was a bond in dispute. It seems I have no legal recourse and have to just give up. Does anyone know of an Ombudsman or legal body I could report the 1) unethical behavoir of this Letting agency and 2) this loophole in DPS,s processes which allows a tenants money to be given away without their knowledge? The whole thing is a con!
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