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An expanded dispute resolution scheme has been launched by the Tenant Deposit Scheme. The aim is to cover a wider range of issues that previously so as to bring more disputes to the service earlier.
The expansion is being done in association with the National Landlords Association with which TDS has a longstanding relationship. Its decision to launch the extended resolution scheme ‘is an important step in cementing the already strong relationship’, said TDS.
The experience it has gained with its existing disputes resolution scheme is that cases are being referred to it far too late, which means that not much can be done to agree a suitable rent reduction plan, TDS said.
With a wider range of issues covered, this will hopefully change so that there is a greater chance of securing a successful resolution.
‘This extended offering will be a conciliation/mediation service, meaning experienced dispute resolution will play an active role in trying to resolve landlord-tenant disputes’.
The extended TDS Resolution will be free of charge and accept referrals from tenants as well as landlords. The move to a free service comes in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic which has left both landlords and tenants in difficult financial circumstances.
‘TDS Resolution has made great strides since its launch in helping parties reach suitable rent arrears repayment plans’, said Dispute Service chief executive Steve Harriott. ‘The Dispute Service has always been committed to raising standards in the private rented sector and making peoples’ lives easier. The extension of the service, to cover a wider range of landlord and tenant disputes, is an important step in achieving our goal.
‘The service will also provide useful evidence to back up the NRLA’s call for a national conciliation service to deal with these types of disputes across England and Wales’.
The extended service will focus on dealing with disputes in:
- Property standards
- Entry rights
- Rent arrears
- Threatened evictions
- Breach of tenancy terms
- Noise/Anti-social behaviour (except serious anti-social activity)
Welcoming this initiative Ben Beadle, CEO of the NRLA said:
For the NRLA, chief executive Ben Beadle said: ‘We welcome the introduction of this pilot, which the NRLA believes can go a long way towards putting conciliation firmly at the heart of landlord-tenant relationship. Conciliation is a key element of the NRLA’s Renters’ Reform Bill proposals and it is our view that with the Renters’ Reform Bill rapidly approaching there is a pressing need for a more efficient system, which provides easy, convenient access to resolving disputes for landlords and tenants alike’