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Hi, I'm new to this forum so pre-apologies if I'm posting a query on a similar issue already discussed on this forum

My last tenant left my property in a terrible state. Its was filthy, infested and she allowed her new puppy (that wasn't diclosed to me was there) to defactate everywhere - so the work/replacement furnishings I suffered before I could re-let the property again was costly and lost me 3 months of rent. Admittedly, part of that delay was due to my mother passing 5 days before this tenant vacated. She was fully aware of this, appeared sympathetic at the time when I advised her there would be a delay my end. She also stated in an email to me that she expected me to take funds from her deposit to cover costs. I have NEVER received such a statement from a tenant before. Previous tenants have all made an effort to stick to the tenancy agreement and I have always returned their deposit in full.

However, this tenant proceeded to file a case with the TDS. Because she did this 1st, it meant that she had 2 x opportunities to state her case. On her 2nd statement which was in response to my substantial evidence, videos and invoices, she lied - knowingly - on a number of things. All of which I can certainly prove as false if this went to court. And the TDS has since taken into account many of these false statements within her 2nd statement.

The TDS awarded me some funds to re-cover costs, but because of these bare faced lies, many items were not allowed. I've since discovered she is a lawyer who specialises in property litigation, so she obviously knew the legal procedure far better than me. That is, that she would have 2 x opportunities to make a statement to the TDS if she contacted them 1st, and that I would not have that same 2nd opportunity to even prove she was lying.

The TDS has said I can't do anything now other than claim via a small claims court. So the questions are please:

1. is it worth it?

2. Has anyone successfully claimed via a small claims court on a similar matter?

3. What do I claim for? For expenses still not retrieved from her? Or do I make a claim against her for providing false statements in order to obtain an outcome in her favour?

4. Can I claim for loss of income also?

5. Can I claim for defamation of charater (she accused me of charging her for betterment of the property)?

Any advice would be much 

Thanks in advance

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The TDS make decisions purely on the evidence received which should be your detailed inventory with descriptions and photos. (Ours run to about 50+ pages) and your detailed check out report with photos, descriptions, invoices/quotes and any relevant corespondance. So if you can  prove a condition at the the start and evidence the condition on vacation and the cost to rectify you should  receive something. The TDS may disagree on costings because they know how much it costs to clean a property or paint a room so you can’t over inflat prices. Also there is a consideration for betterment. So if a carpet is completed ruined and cost £500 and the live span would be expected to be 10 years but was ruined 5 years after fitting you would of get £250. So it shouldn’t matter if someone lies because if your tenancy was correctly set up and evidence correctly documented and submitted you should receive a high proportion of what you are claiming for. 

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Gather all your evidence and make your claim through the small claims court against the tenant. You have nothing to lose and perhaps everything to gain. This is what I would do if I was in your position if only to gain some satisfaction that this legal person would hopefully get a CCJ against their name for non payment should the Courts award you costs. Wouldn't look good would it for them.

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I think once you have opted in for arbitration with the TDS and had a decision we can’t decide you don’t like the decision and go the the small claims court. Unless it is for a issue not in the TDS claim. This is in the TDS Rules and if you wanted to go to court  you should have opted out before arbitration.

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