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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 14819
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am entering a dispute resolution process for the deposit

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Hello
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: Hi, I am entering a dispute resolution process for the deposit of my most recent tenancy
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: The estate agent holds a crucial piece of evidence, the mid term inspection report, which they refuse to release to me I'm in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: All I've done is ask for the report via email, so at least their correspondence on record Can I make a subject access request for the report? Or does it not constitute personal data?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The landlord is trying to claim money out of our deposit for damp damages. This damage was cause by a leak that was due to structural issues in the piping We assert that we reported the water damage in the mid term inspection, therefore gave the landlord notice of the water damage

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Yes, it would be included insofar as your data rights are concerned, assuming it refers to you personally which I presume it does. If you had to sue the landlord, the court would actually tell you both to make full disclosure - which would include the inspection report.

In the meantime you should make a Subject Access Request (SAR) and give them one month to respond.

Here is a useful link for a GDPR request:

https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/your-right-to-get-copies-of-your-data/preparing-and-submitting-your-subject-access-request/

If they do not respond, this is in breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

GDPR protects data subjects. What this means is that the Information Commissioner's Office (the "ICO") can levy large fines if they find there has been a breach. The fines are either up to £17m or 4% of company turnover, whichever is greater. As such, assuming the SAR is ignored, I would recommend that you inform the ICO on 0303(###) ###-#### They also have a "live chat" facility on their site - you can visit it here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

They will take your details and if they feel there has been a data breach will contact the company. A lot of companies do not realise the extent of the fines and it is envisaged a lot of businesses will go bust in the event of a breach, not just because of the fines but because the aggrieved party can also claim compensation.

I have also attached a useful template letter you may wish to use if the deposit scheme does not result in a refund.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Jim,
Thank you so much for your response, this is really helpful. Just one further question(s):
The deposit is protected by the DPS. I have already consented to using an adjudicator if the dispute is not resolved between the landlord and myself. We both send our evidence to the adjudicator who makes a final decision on who will be rewarded the disputed amount. Does full disclosure still apply in these dispute resolution processes? Presuming that the landlord withholds the midterm report, can we provide evidence to show that a mid-term inspection had taken place and that the landlord/agent is unwilling to share the report, and would this be sufficient to prove our case that the landlord/agent knew about the leak but were unwilling to fix it at the time?
Best,
George

It should still apply but as the court is not involved yet, the landlord could still keep evidence back if they wanted. You can provide evidence to show the inspection took place so you can ask the adjudicator to make an adverse inference from the fact an inspection took place but the report has not been disclosed.

JimLawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you very much Jim.
Best
George

My pleasure, thanks and have a good day.
Jim