Dear Property Doctor,

I had a tenant that ran away from my property and I don’t have a forwarding address.
I can’t access the deposit because they say it has to be sign by the tenant. What can I do?

It depends who is holding the deposit – if its held by a DPS (deposit protection scheme) then you can request a payment if the following :

The Single Claim Process is a method of repayment for use if:

1. the agent/landlord has no current address for the tenant
2. the tenant fails to respond to the agent/landlord’s written notice requiring that the agent/landlord be paid some or all of the deposit within 14 calendar days of the end of the tenancy.
3. the tenant has no current address for the agent/landlord
4. The agent/landlord fails to respond to the tenant’s written notice asking whether the agent/landlord accepts that the tenant should be paid some or all of the deposit within 14 calendar days of the end of the tenancy.

The DPS will then write to both parties and then will usually go to an adjudicator who will look at the claim given the evidence from both parties to reach an outcome. If there is evidence of damage or arrears then usually any costs will be awarded in favour of the landlord.

If its an insurance based scheme ( ie the landlord holds the deposit but has insure it with the like of My Deposits) then again the landlord will need to make the insurance company aware of the dispute so they can appoint an adjudicator if necessary. Its usually on just a formality but the process can take some time.