A section of carpet, a fully functioning mobile phone and bathroom taps – just a sample of the more unusual items we’ve been sent as evidence in deposit disputes.

When it comes to gathering evidence for deposit disputes, we appreciate the need for thoroughness. However, on occasion some landlords take their dedication to preparation beyond what’s necessary.

We received a section of carpet from one landlord wanting to show us the iron burn left by a tenant. In this case a photo of the damage in situ would have had the same evidential value, in fact possibly more. Having been removed from its context, it could be questioned whether it came from the tenancy property.

We’ve also received several bathroom items. A landlord sent us a limescale covered tap to demonstrate a tenant had not taken sufficiently good care of their bathroom; while a tenant sent in a new shower mixer tap to support an argument that their landlord was charging too much to install a replacement. Clear date stamped photographs, and receipts or invoices are much more helpful for adjudicators.

Save on postage and email us

Speaking of photos, you can email these to us, rather than taking the approach of one landlord who sent a mobile phone complete with charger containing photos they’d taken of the property. Email is much simpler for us and much cheaper for you!

We do encourage the use of video evidence to help resolve disputes, but landlords should note it can be used against them. One tenant sent us video evidence of a landlord climbing over a garden wall and entering a house without the tenant’s consent. Following your obligations as a landlord is as important as your tenants following theirs.

“The provision of evidence is a fundamentally important aspect of the resolution of any dispute, and good evidence can help our adjudicators come to fair conclusions around the return of deposit money.

Good evidence can include records of email correspondence or mobile phone messages, date-stamped photographs or video that helps demonstrate the condition of the property at both the start and end of a tenancy.

Over the 14 years that we’ve been protecting deposits, landlords and tenants have posted us some very inventive and unusual items to back up their points, but we’d nevertheless encourage both parties to stick to paperwork, images and video in order to make the process as quick and efficient as possible.”

– Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS

Matt Trevett