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ADR Disputes. Any Thoughts on my story..?

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146 views 1 replies latest reply: 19 August 2016

Im new to this board and wondered if anyone has had any dealings with the DPS-ADR process?

My story is as follows.. we paid £1087.50 deposit & rent was £725 a month, the landlord was shocking we had so many problems, as listed below & now hes trying to take £300 off our deposit for “gardening and decorating” which is a joke, the ground has been wet for most of the time prior to moving out & the decorating was not an issue in the 8 months we were there, and i asked permission. Everything below is backed u with pictures and screenshots as evidence. including before&after pictures of the property. we never used darish colours or defaced their property, infact we improved it.

anyhow, they were both repeatedly informed regarding the following problems.


When we moved into the property the keys were handed over to us by the estate agent at which point we were advised the property was fully managed by the landlord and that no inventory was done, unless he chose to do one, Which he didn’t.


Upon meeting the landlord at the property we were advised that;

1)     The garage doors would be replaced and the side gate to the back of the property, as neither were locked or secured, a brick was holding both doors shut.

2)     The back garden would be cleared of rubble/bricks the remainder of the fence from the front garden and he would concentrate on digging the garden up with his grandson in due course(weather permitting)

3)     Possibility of the boiler being replaced


December ‘15 –January ‘16


1)     The drive begins to flood December 31st, (31-12-15) surface water and what can only be seen as tissue appear. landlord was informed on 31-12-15 and I was told to call seven Trent as he was away in Liverpool with his family

–          I called seven Trent I waited in new year’s eve, they never showed up, Drive progressively gets worse, at this point its near enough coming over the back door.

–          Jan 1st 9am, Severn Trent arrive and blast the drain, they inform me if I call again they will be charging the landlord as they advise the house is on a private water system therefore he is responsible for the drains and that they have had this discussion with John prior and they will not attend again.


2)     A Leak in the roof, causing water damage to the front bedroom celing and wall. (4-1-16)

–          I myself spoke to landlord approx. one month after we moved into the property and advised him of the issue. We were advised that a roofer would be out to fix the leak/assess the damage.

–          Nobody came.


Approx. same time (bad weather)

Porch begins to show signs of damp, the floor is constantly wet & the smell of mould is overwhelming. landlord informed via telephone. Photos taken as advised by family and friends.


End of Jan ‘16

·         Spoke with landlord- asked if I could decorate/spruce up the décor the damp smell and the wet patch in the bedroom was causing our clothes to smell. Was given the go ahead as long as no dark colours were used (black Blue etc)

·         Pipe begins to leak under the sink, water is flowing from the cupboard, landlord advised and comes out to the property on Jan 23rd(approx.) and fixes with duct tape. landlord takes a look around at the décor and says the place is looking nice, and that his wife would love to see what we’ve done to the place.


Start of February ‘16 (near valentine’s day)

·         Again the drive begins to flood, landlord advised again via telephone call with my o/h, and landlord advises he will return with a friend to clear the drains. Later the same day landlord  returns with +1 and blasts the drains clear. Advise landlord we think there is a problem with the toilet system backing up as the flush is rising etc.


                                        The garage and roofer are yet to be looked at yet for repair/replacement at this point.


·         March 10th

-Raining heavily on my birthday, weekend booked away. Drive starts to flood. Luckily the weather dies up and so does the water. We notice something floating in the water. Its Tissue.


·         End of march

-both the landlords come back together and look at the décor, they are happy and have no issues.


Advised that the garage doors will be looked at soon and other issues will be dealt with accordingly.


·         May ‘16 (bank hol)

-Damp patches start appearing on the wall in the middle room, the front room, paint is peeling away and the smell is bad.

-Bathroom is still a problem at this point. The toilet is still rising after flushes and the waste pipe appears to be backing up. (at a guess -as we are no plumbers)

-landlord informed and advises my o/h on a telephone call that he will be out on the bank holiday Sunday.


Nobody ever came.


·         June 13-17th

                                      -my o/h has booked a week off work to dig up the back garden and remove the rubbish as we have not heard anything regarding the issues we have addressed, & Wanted to be able to enjoy the dry weather etc.

-Garden is dug from top to bottom, weeded and grass is cut, Next door also help with moving the rubbish that landlord said he would move, and the iron fence.

-The drive was also jet washed with a karcher jet wash.


-All paperwork under boiler cupboard destroyed boiler is literally leaking water 24/7.


-Pressure starts dropping in boiler, water switches from hot to cold and it’s impossible to have a shower. At this point we are both using our parents and o/h’s work place to shower as we have no hot water, landlord is informed(along with the other issues) on a text on June 12th.

-Problems are listed at this point and landlord then calls and arranges a date to “come and look” at the problems, he organises this for June 18th (Saturday)


I missed a family meal and waited in all day, He never showed up.


·         June 25th

-We are sat having dinner and landlord walks down the drive-unannounced and straight into the garage, when my o/h went out he advised he needed something from the garage?



·         June 29th

-Heavy rain now for a few weeks on and off- Drive floods, this time it has soiled toilet tissue and bits of excrement, which is nearly reaching the back door.

-I called environmental health and I’m advised to inform the landlord and not touch it ourselves, and that the issue should be resolved immediately.


-landlord informed via text along with pictures first thing(AM) on 29/06/16 – I explained it was becoming an environmental health issue as each time it flooded it got worse. And he never replied till the following day(Thursday) saying he will be out Friday,


At this point we are both quite fed up unable to use the drive or the side door and the fact we have mess all over the drive, my o/h says he’s not living like this anymore and decides to move it himself.


·         July 3rd

-my o/h Secures 2 padlocks on the garage and the side gate as we are now fully aware after 6 months that the garage doors will not be replaced and we are using it for storage.


·         July 6th

-Wake up and our house has been burgled, a laptop, a phone, 2 bags, money, wallets were stolen.

-However,  there is no forced entry it would appear someone has used a key! And came through the front door whilst we slept.

-Police are called we both give statements and are advised by the police to find out when the landlord last changed the locks.


-my o/h advises both landlords he had only just put locks on the garage& side gate that Sunday.

-landlords arrive in the morning (unannounced) after I informed them what happened,

– I asked the question and was told they changed the locks when they bought the property– 7 years ago.

-landlord says he will replace the barrels ASAP and that he will provide us with a wireless alarm.

-After advising the police of what landlords had told us regarding the lock change, we were told that any landlord should be thinking about replacing the barrels after every tenant moves out to prevent this from happening.


-We are given a crime reference number but unable to claim because we can’t provide the insurance company

1) with proof the house was secure

2) There was no forced entry (a key was used).


So we lost out.


-At 4pm that day (after waiting for him to return) I call to see where he is when we ask him when he intends to come back he says abruptly “after work”….

-I lost a full days wage as I was under the impression he would be back asap to change the locks. As he advised that morning.

-He returned with 2 barrels (one for front door and one for the side door) but nothing for the large French doors at the rear leading to the garden???


Still leaving us vulnerable. And no wireless alarm.



As I was on my own a lot of the time in the property I did not feel safe at night as my o/h works nights,my o/h Padlocked the front door into the front room and I started chaining my car in on the drive whenever I was alone- or when we were not home, I could not risk anything more happening to our things.


Our contract ran out from May 5th 2016, and we were under the impression that lanlord was organising another contract as he had advised in June.

We pondered about staying or moving but because of the issues with the property we decided it was best for us to move on, especially after being burgled, as I no longer felt safe alone.


On July 7th we gave notice of one month as we had already paid the rent, I was then approached by estate agents about being available for people to view the house, I explained the hours and locations I work from and that I can be anywhere in the UK from day to day depending on where my boss requires me. And that o/h works nights therefore is sleeping during the day. I advised Hawkins we could come to an agreement to refund the money we had paid for rent and move out sooner, I spoke with female landlord on 14th July (Friday) and she advised they had no money and couldn’t do that, So we agreed to keep the property on till 5th ( we were paid up to 5th August) and we would depart on that date, She said she would be coming to clear the drive and look at the garden as it had been heavily raining over the course of 3 weeks on and off, with little dry weather in-between.

She said she was thinking about coming the following Monday and would let me know, As I had not heard or had confirmation over the weekend, I assumed nobody was coming, as previously we had been known to wait around for nobody to arrive, and on Monday 18th I had a voicemail stating they were at the house but everything was locked up. Again I had no pre-advise or confirmation they intended on coming to the property.

We had explained to them that we had locked the garage/side door the day we were burgled, and the gates on the drive were also locked from that date.

When I arrived home on that day the next door neighbour said that landlords had been round, and he told them they had just missed my o/h  and that he was on his way to work, and he also advised that the landlord climbed over his garden, to get into the front of our house, and had let himself into the house which I feel is unacceptable.




As previously mentioned I feel this £200 they are trying to claim is unjust, We spent many hours looking after the property, we paid our rent in full every month and we took care of the property as best we could.

Had the weather been better we could have mowed the grass before we left but as everyone is aware the weather has been very up and down with heavy rain and very little dry spells for us to be able to do so.

The decorating was finished to a high standard and up until I’ve tried to reclaim my deposit, and when I returned my keys back, they have had no problems with it. They have been in the property on numerous occasions from December- August and never once mentioned the décor in the house, They also never mentioned it to me when I did a walk round with them on 3rd august to hand over the keys, they left the property, as did I, stating everything was ok.




You seem well prepared and your case is rather easy as there is no inventory.
You see, the tenancy deposit is still a property of the tenant. It is protected by a deposit scheme, to ensure that your property remains your own unless you’ve caused the condition of the property to deteriorate, where it normally wouldn’t. 
However, that is all judged against a thorough move in inventory, which your landlord doesn’t have. If he doesn’t have the inventory, there is no way to prove what condition the property was in prior to your occupancy, except he tells, she tells, which we all know is not a legitimate argument. 
On the other hand, you have a plethora of legitimate arguments against your landlord and his poor maintenance and management of the property. 
And yet, none of them truly matter since the ADR is likely to review the case only based on the garden and the interior. Strictly legally, if you’ve gotten the landlord’s permission to redecorate, they are in their power to ask you to return the previous interior before leaving. However, they did not ask you to do this, and were at multiple times happy with it, which means they just want to get the money. 
In the end, they still have no inventory, which means any claim they make will be superficial. The deposit is your property and it’s the landlord who needs to prove they are entitled to deductions, not you. 
I’d stay confident in your case, and would not surrender the dispute easily. Please, notify us of how the story ends, this may become a good case study for The Tenants’ Voice community.

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