Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Black Friday affects Tribunal

I spent a lovely hour in Tenancy Tribunal on Black Friday a few weeks ago, just me, the Adjudicator, and the Court Clerk. The tenant decided he had better things to do. Normally a hearing like this when the tenant doesn't show is pretty quick. The adjudicator worked through things very thoroughly, which was nice, though unusual when the tenant does not show to contest it. Due to this diligence, we used all the alloted time, and I didn't get a copy of the order before I left the court. He promised to write it up and send it out as soon as possible, which he did.

When I received the Order the following Wednesday by post, I was pleased to see we had won all of the essential points, and even had Exemplary Damages awarded to us. The bond was to be refunded immediately, something we were looking forward to very much.

However, the Adjudicator had made a mistake when adding up the figures, and there were two conflicting numbers on the Order. I phoned the Court Clerk to resolve it but reached voicemail. My explanation of the issue on the message I left was misinterpreted, and several voicemail exchanges resulted before I ended up faxing the Order back with big circles around the affected parts and a note to the effect of 'these numbers are different, why?'. More messages exchanged, and I found out she'd get the Adjudicator to fix it next time he was in, in about 2 weeks time. Sigh.

In the meantime, there was no sign of the bond refund, and plenty of time had passed so it should have been done. A call to the bond centre revealed they had no request from the Court to release it. The solution was to send in the order we had, incorrect though it was, in order to get the bond released. A couple of days later it was in the account.

Finally spoke to the Court Clerk, who had managed to see the Adjudicator earlier than hoped while he was at the court for another matter, and had the figures corrected and the new order was on it's way out to us. Why had the Bond Centre not been notified of the bond release order? The Clerk had forgotten to fax it through. Oops. Simply human error again. Perhaps it was the curse of Black Friday.

Do check your Tribunal Orders carefully to ensure they are correct (and that is different from just not being what you had hoped they would be) and follow up with the Court if they are not. Check your bond actually gets paid out to you, and contact the Bond Centre if it hasn't been refunded in a reasonable timeframe. It's your money, make sure you get it.

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