Ask TDS NI: Can I win a dispute by default? RSS feed

Ask TDS NI: Can I win a dispute by default?

Tenancy Deposit Scheme NI is a government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect. This article has been written in response to a tenant’s query: “Can I win a dispute by default?”

This question, asked by a tenant in dispute, was based on the fact that the landlord/agent had not responded to TDS’ request for evidence. The tenant wanted to know, if the landlord or agent doesn’t respond would the deposit automatically be given to the tenant?

If the other party does not respond:

If the deadline passes and one party has not responded despite reminders being sent by TDS, then the case will go to adjudication. In these circumstances, it is likely that the case will be awarded in favour of the applicant who submitted their evidence.

No case will be decided “by default” but we do urge all parties involved to submit their evidence to ensure they have given themselves the best opportunity of success.

If the tenant withdraws consent:

In Northern Ireland only the tenant can withdraw from the dispute process. The tenant will be required to seek an alternative process to recover the deposit funds from the landlord or agent. Any deposit funds held by the scheme will be released to the landlord or agent.

Guide to deposit dispute resolution

TDS and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) have produced a comprehensive guide to dispute resolution in the private rented sector.

The free guide aims to provide landlords and tenants with a clear understanding of the dispute resolution process and how to effectively navigate potential conflicts that may arise during and at the end of tenancy. 

Download your free guide

Simple Deposit Protection

Joining TDS NI is simple!

It only takes a few minutes to join today.

We’ve also made this easy if you’d like to transfer from another scheme. Visit our switch page and we’ll handle the rest.


The Tenancy Deposit Scheme NI is part of The Dispute Service (TDS), the leading tenancy deposit protection and resolution service provider in the UK making life easier for tens of thousands of agents, landlords, developers, and millions of tenants and homebuyers. TDS is a not-for-profit company with offices in Hemel Hempstead, Glasgow, and Belfast.

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