Legislation came into effect on 6 April 2007 to ensure that after this date all deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies are covered by an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Cherwell Property are members of The Dispute Service Ltd which is an insurance based scheme. We are allowed to retain deposits in our Client Account and have Client Money Protection.
The Deposit must be protected in one of the deposit schemes within 30 days of receipt and the Tenant must be informed which scheme their deposit is being held. There are severe penalties if the Deposit has not been protected and the required Prescribed Information given to the Tenant. In order to comply with this legislation, Cherwell Property will protect the Deposit with The Dispute Service Limited and provide a Certificate to the Tenant.
The Deposit equivalent to 5 weeks rent is paid by the Tenant against possible non-payment of rent or damage to property. It is therefore imperative that a detailed and accurate Inventory/Property Condition Report is drawn up in order to ensure that when the Tenant vacates it is clear whether the property has been left in the same condition as when the Tenant moved in. The Inventory will support the evidence of both the Landlord and the Tenant in the case of a dispute arising. Most tenancies come to an end with no disagreements about the return of the deposit however it is vital that any possible disputes are dealt with quickly, efficiently and amicably otherwise the matter would have to be referred to The Dispute Service for arbitration and they would have the final decision in the matter.
A ‘Holding Deposit’ – equivalent to one week’s rent – is payable on application which will secure the property subject to satisfactory references/credit checks. If the tenancy does proceed the holding deposit is put towards the first month’s rent. Once taken, Cherwell Property has 15 days to make a decision and get the tenancy agreement signed, first month’s rent and deposit paid – this can be extended on agreement with the prospective Tenant if the application is not completed within the 15 days. The holding deposit can be retained if the application provides misleading information, fails a Right to Rent Check, withdraws from the property, or fails to take reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy as per the terms and conditions stated on our advertising literature.
DISPUTE MANAGEMENT/RESOLUTION FEE:
In the event of not being able to agree with the tenant on any proposed deductions from the deposit for repairs or dilapidations, we would initially attempt to mediate between all parties in order to find a mutually agreeable resolution/compromise. If agreement cannot be reached a dispute can be raised by either the landlord or the tenant. In response to a dispute being raised comprehensive forms would need to be completed together with photographs, evidence, copies of inventory etc. are required to be submitted for review and arbitration by The Dispute Service. There would be a charge for the preparation of necessary paperwork and submission of evidence (see Our Fees).
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