Many letting agents 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 letting agent has successfully proven their position.
This is why it’s so important to provide supporting evidence. It helps the adjudicator understand why you’ve made your claim, and gives context to the amount you’re claiming.
In almost every case, the tenancy agreement is the bare minimum evidence you need to submit. Without this, almost all claims will be unsuccessful.
Of course, to give your claim the best chance of success, you should provide a lot more evidence to support it.
The evidence you should provide varies depending on the type of claim you’re making. 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.
Your first step should be to review the original tenancy agreement, check-in inventory report, and check-out inventory report. These will tell you the condition of the property when your tenants moved in and moved out, and detail any contract terms you should have followed.
You should have your own copies of the tenancy agreement, check-in inventory report, and check-out inventory reports, and should have given copies to your tenants. If your tenants have lost or misplaced their copies, they may ask you to provide them with new copies. Sharing these documents with them can help them understand why you’re making a claim and may avoid the need to go to dispute.
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.
If you have any correspondence between you and your tenants regarding issues that arose during the tenancy, such as letters, emails or text messages, these 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.