Since launching our online Statutory Declaration request facility, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of Single Claim requests. It appears that some landlords, letting agents and tenants are incorrectly using this as the default option to request repayment at the end of a tenancy. There are only 2 reasons for using the Single Claim process at the end of a tenancy:
› One party has no means of contacting the other party; or
› One party fails to respond to the other party’s communication asking whether they accept their claim.
Other than that, where both parties agree on the deposit repayment, they should always start the Joint Deposit Repayment process. The single claim shouldn’t be used just because there’s a disagreement over the amount to be returned to each party – in this instance they should either agree to use the ADR Service or go to Court.
If you’re following the Single Claim process for one of the reasons above, make sure it’s completed correctly. We have recently seen a 3% increase in the number of Declarations being rejected because of either:
› A misunderstanding of the circumstances in which the Single Claim process can be followed; or
› Inaccurate completion of the Statutory Declaration.
In order to help clarify the correct use of the single clam process, we have revised the design of our Statutory Declarations*. To help you further here are some important tips:
› Make sure you tick either box (i) or box (ii) within Section 4 of the Declaration
› If you tick box (ii) and you aren’t making a single claim because of the failure of the other party to respond within 14 days to your online claim, then you must attach the written notice that you have issued to the other party asking whether they accept your claim.
› For landlords and letting agents, make sure you give details of your claim in Section 6 – if you don’t, your Declaration will be invalid.
* Please note, the clauses within the Statutory Declarations have not changed as these are in line with the Statutory Instrument ’The Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007 No. 796, paragraph 3, "Custodial schemes: termination of tenancies - absent or un-cooperative landlord or tenant’.