Q. My tenant left my property in a dreadful state and I need the deposit money to cover my costs in getting it sorted. The DPS though are refusing to pay the money over as they say that the tenant has told them she does not want to use the free adjudication service but is going to issue proceedings. However, I know full well that she is never going to do this and is just saying this to be spiteful. What can I do about it?
A. Under law the adjudication process can only be used if both parties agree to it. The DPS cannot force tenants to use this against their will. If a tenant refuses to take part in adjudication the DPS is legally obliged to keep the money until the court tells them to release it.
However, I understand from the DPS that if the person who did not agree cannot provide evidence that court proceedings have begun within six months and still refuses to take part in adjudication, then they will pay the deposit to the other party.
So what you need to do is get back to the DPS in six months and request the money be paid to you. I know it is unfair but there is not much you can do until then.