Many landlords don’t realise that the onus is on them to prove they have a legitimate claim to a share of the deposit, whilst the tenant has no obligation to prove their position. This is because the deposit remains the tenant’s money until the landlord has successfully proven their position.
This is why supporting evidence is so important. It helps the adjudicator understand why a landlord has made a claim, and gives context to the amount they’re claiming.
For tenants, providing evidence in support of their position is also vital if they’re to prove the landlord isn’t entitled to a share of the deposit.
In almost every case, the tenancy agreement is the bare minimum evidence needed. Without this, almost all claims will be unsuccessful.
Of course, for the best chance of success, a claim should be supported by a lot more evidence than just the tenancy agreement.
The evidence landlords and tenants should provide varies depending on the type of claim. Some examples are:
- Signed check-in and check-out inventory report
- A signed tenancy agreement
- Signed reports of periodic inspections of the property
- A statement of the rent account or bank statements
- Date stamped photographs or video recordings
- Copies of any correspondence between the landlord and tenant
- Witness statements
Read more on what makes good evidence.
The first step should be to review the original tenancy agreement, check-in inventory report, and check-out inventory report. These will show the condition of the property when the tenants moved in and moved out, and detail any contract terms that should have been followed.
Landlords should have their own copies of the tenancy agreement, check-in inventory report, and check-out inventory reports, and should have given copies to their tenants. If tenants have lost or misplaced their copies, they may ask their landlord to provide them with new copies. By sharing these documents, landlords can help tenants understand why they’re making a claim and may avoid the need to go to dispute.
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, date-stamped photographs you’ve taken of the property showing the condition of the property may support your position. You should try and submit the highest quality images you can.
Any correspondence regarding issues that arose during the tenancy, such as letters, emails or text messages, may support your position too.
We’ll contact you when it’s time to submit your evidence and tell you how to do this. You only need to submit evidence for the disputed claims.
To learn more about the different types of deduction and what evidence you should submit in support, read our guide, what makes good evidence.
If you have no evidence to submit, you’ll need to explain why. You can also add any extra information that you didn’t include in your claim.
Adjudicators are completely unbiased and make their decisions based on the evidence received from both parties.