How an adjudicator makes a decision

Adjudicators are completely unbiased and make their decisions based on the evidence received from both parties. They must be persuaded “on a balance of probabilities” that the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement, and that the landlord has suffered, or is likely to suffer, a loss as a result. 

After the adjudicator has analysed the evidence and decided how to award the disputed funds, we’ll send their decision to you and your landlord.


How long does it take for the adjudicator to make a decision?

It varies, depending on a lot of factors, but it normally takes up to 28 days from the adjudicator receiving the evidence. This is still quicker than going to court. For some cases adjudicators may need to ask for further evidence or clarification on a particular matter from either party outside these deadlines. This will increase the time taken to adjudicate, so it’s important you’re thorough in preparing your evidence.


What if you're unhappy with the adjudicator's decision?

At the start of the adjudication process, the landlord and tenant have to consent to use our Dispute Resolution Service. Any decision the adjudicator makes is finally and legally binding, however if you think that the adjudicator has made a clear error of fact or law, you can raise a complaint.


What if the adjudicator can’t make a decision?

In rare cases, the adjudicator may decide that the case would be better dealt with through a formal court process - for example, a case involving police. If there are ongoing court proceedings between the parties, the adjudicator will not be able to consider the dispute.  The court has higher authority, and the adjudicator will need to wait for the Court’s decision before considering the deposit dispute. The adjudicator can also reject the dispute if they feel that either party is being vexatious or frivolous.






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