Don't be so sure. We recently had a dispute with a tenant who had caused quite a lot of damage; the tenant wouldn't engage in the adr at first but when they eventually did the DPS said they would send out evidence forms - which they did on the 25th December, yes, christmas day, according to their paperwork.
Originally Posted by jta
We contacted them when we returned to work on the 4th January to say we had still not received anything from them. No response. Eventually it turned up a couple of days later; we turned it around the same day and it arrived back to them one day later on the 15th day. A week later we received a letter from the DPS to say that as we hadn't returned it within the 14 days they had given the tenant the deposit back in full and considered the case closed.
When we called them about it their stance is as follows: they maintain it went out on the 25th (even though they were closed according to their own website) and the landlord must comply with the 14 day rule 'regardless of whether or not it arrives in the post' When asked why they didn't respond to our call to say it hadn't arrived - which they agreed they received - or send it out via email, they said there was 'no need as a form had already been sent out'.
We asked whether they had made any allowance for the fact it was a bank holiday on the 25th and 26th and that there was another bank holiday the following week. Their reply was 'there is no need to as there was ample time for it to arrive even taking into account the bank holiday'
An official complaint was ignored and sent back with a repeat of the "read the terms and conditions" type reply.
So beware, even if you tell them a document hasn't arrived it doesn't stop the clock from ticking.
Our client is out +£600 with no where to go but to consider Court action against the tenant; simpler to blame us and ask us to cover the costs - which he did!
If anyone plans to use the DPS I would advise you read through the small print of the Terms and Conditions very, very carefully. There are a lot of trip hazards for the unwary landlord
My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.