ADR is an alternative way of resolving disputes, other than by using the
traditional route of the Courts. It is an evidence based process, where the
outcome is decided by an impartial and qualified adjudicator.
All tenancy deposit protection schemes use the ‘adjudication’ method to deal
with deposit disputes.
PARTIES IN DISPUTE
The parties in dispute are required to submit their evidence to the
adjudicator. The evidence provided should be both robust and reliable
in order to support a claim. They will need to do this within specified
timescales laid down by the individual deposit protection scheme. You
should check the processes you are required to follow with your
The adjudicator will analyse and consider the evidence and make a
binding decision as to how the disputed amount of the deposit should
be distributed. Remember that the tenant has no obligation to prove his
argument, because the deposit remains his property until successfully
claimed for by the landlord. A landlord must prove that he has, on the
‘balance of probability’, a legitimate claim to retain all or part of the
deposit. If he can’t, the adjudicator must return the disputed amount to
the tenant. The adjudicator’s decision will be based on the evidence
You only need to submit evidence in support of a dispute where you
consider it is directly relevant to the dispute. So if there is a claim to a
damage contents only evidence of these is needed. If the dispute is
about cleanliness than only evidence to this is required.
An adjudicator will take into account any admissions of liability by the
tenant; however evidence should still be provided to show how the
tenant has broken the tenancy agreement, and the loss suffered as a
result. Evidence which shows that the landlord tried to reach a
compromise, or to keep the amount of their claim to a minimum, is
ADR IS NOT :
a process of mediation, arbitration, or counselling
the parties will never be required to meet with the adjudicator.
the adjudicator will not be visiting the property subject to the tenancy
agreement or dispute.
Where a check-in is challenged by the tenant, a full audit trail of what remedial action has occurred
should be provided and a revised checkin agreed and signed. It is preferable if check-in and check-
out inspections are produced in a similar format – where possible by the same person. To enable
meaningful comparisons to be made, it is also important that the same measurements of the
property’s condition are used in both reports.
It is sensible to carry out periodic inspections of the property during the tenancy. These naturally are not as detailed as check-in and check-out inspections at the start and
end of the tenancy.