Following our recent dispute workshops with Jersey residents, we wanted to share the answers to some of the most common questions that were raised across the two days;
- How do I lodge a deposit?
A video on how to lodge and protect a deposit online will be available on the mydeposits Jersey website from Monday 2 November. Your member welcome pack contains all the information you need to get started and the simple-step-by-step process on our website will ensure you provide all the necessary information and payment to comply with the law.
- Is there a time period at the end of the lease where the landlord has to return the deposit before a dispute is raised?
When the lease ends, either the landlord/agent member or the tenant can start the deposit release process by contacting mydeposits. The deposit money will remain with the scheme until both parties agree on the amount of deposit to be returned and both will need to authorise its return. Free dispute resolution is available at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute over deductions.
- Can part of a deposit be returned and then the other part be disputed?
Yes, if both the landlord/agent and the tenant agree that part of the deposit should be returned, then that amount of deposit will be released to that party. The remaining, disputed amount of the deposit will be held by the scheme until the dispute has been resolved by either the dispute resolution service or the Petty Debts Court.
- What happens if the tenant causes more damage or rent arrears than the deposit amount?
MyDeposits can only deal with deposit disputes up to the amount of the deposit. Any monies claimed over the deposit amount will need to be pursued through the petty debt court.
- How much deposit should be taken?
How much deposit is taken is at the landlord or agent’s discretion. Typically a deposit is between one-two months’ rent.
- Can you explain the dispute resolution process – what if a tenant doesn’t agree with landlord?
At the end of tenancy if the tenant does not agree with the landlord’s proposed deductions to the deposit and negotiation fails, then they can raise a formal dispute with us. We offer a free dispute resolution service for both parties that relies on evidence to resolve the issue. The evidence is reviewed by an independent adjudicator who will make a decision as to who is entitled to the disputed money. The law provides key timelines for the scheme to resolve the dispute.
- What happens if the landlord or the tenant doesn’t agree with an adjudication decision?
A review can requested, however we will only accept a review if an error in fact and law has been made.
- Can another tenant move in while there is an ongoing dispute?
Yes, there is no reason why a new tenant cannot move into the property.
- Do landlords, agents and tenants have to use the scheme’s dispute resolution service?
Either party has the option to decline our dispute resolution service and use the petty debts court to resolve the issue. Mydeposits will hold onto the disputed money until we receive formal notification from the Court of their decision.
- What relationship does mydeposits have with the States of Jersey?Mydeposits was invited to tender for the contract of running a deposit protection scheme. Following a rigorous process over a number of months, the States of Jersey selected mydeposits and appointed us as the scheme administrators. We report to the States regularly and are governed by strict Key Performance Indicators to monitor our operation.