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Ians
11-07-2011, 14:17 PM
Hi all

Tenancy ended a few days ago. Tenants have moved out. House needs a clean and some other damage putting right.

All this has been noted by the letting agent we use.

I assumed the letting agent would be able to make a reasonable deduction from the deposit and if disputed would have the appropriate inventory and check out reports etc as evidence.

However the agent has let the tenants keep the keys - which I thought was an absolute no-no, so they can go back in at some point to to do repairs/clean. No day arranged and not escorted.

When we questioned this they said the deposit scheme rules had changed and you now have to give tenants the chance to do this - even after the end of the tenancy.

Anyone know if this is correct? My understanding was that if things had not been put right by the end of the tenancy then fair money is deducted and that you must retain the keys or the tenants sill have possession of the property and all the complications that can cause.

Anyone know if deposit scheme rules now say tenants must have chance to go back in?

Thanks for reading

JK0
11-07-2011, 14:41 PM
I've not heard of any change to the rules.

I had a similar thing with a previous agent. The reason they wished to let the tenant do the cleaning, was because they did not wish to make any deposit deductions. The reason they did not wish to make deductions was because they had let a new place to the tenant, and allowed the full amount of 'my' deposit as a credit against the new deposit.

I bet it's a similar story with your agent.

(If they had to submit the full amount to the new deposit scheme, but give you money for repairs, they will be short of cash to send to the new landlord.)

mind the gap
11-07-2011, 15:40 PM
This is nonsense. The rules have not changed. The tenants had the opportunity to do the cleaning and remedy any damage - before the end of their tenancy. Preferably the very last few days of it, so they didn't have the chance to mess it up again. If they thought it was clean and undamaged but it wasn't (compared with check-in), tough. They obviously need to spend some time learning what 'clean' means, but it is not your job to educate them in that process. You are not a charity.

In my experience, if they are willing and able to clean a property properly, they will do it before they move out. Offering them the chance to do it again/more thoroughly after they've moved out is a waste of everyone's time, unless they hire a cleaner, which they never do, because if they were happy to part with a couple of hundred quid they would just let you deduct it from the deposit.

If agents/LLs have nothing better to do, they could usefully go round a week before the end of the tenancy (assuming Ts agree) and point out anything obvious to Ts that needs 'sorting', but the deadline for returning the house as it was originally is the last day of the tenancy, not after.

If you do let them back in to do it, are you going to charge them for the extra days of lost rent which you could otherwise have had?

Don't go there!

MrJohnnyB
11-07-2011, 15:45 PM
What do agents like this actually think they're playing at? I swear they forget who pays their fees sometimes. I would be furious about this, they should be getting money from the DPS and then resolving any issues then finding a new tenant for you. Instead they've let T retain keys, do nothing, and leave you having to declare the property abandoned or requiring a PO.

Seriously, when you speak to the LA you really need to give them a serious telling off!

Ians
11-07-2011, 16:49 PM
Thanks for the replies.

It is a relative's house which I am going to help them manage after this tenancy is sorted as I currently manage my own properties.

I don't profess to be an expert though I have done the NFOPP and APIP courses - but I was wondering if I was going mad when the conversation with the LA was relayed to me.

I thought is was one of the absolute basics not to let teanants retain keys in this way and I thought it was so obvious that i wondered if I'd missed something.

I think our priority is getting the keys back or I can forsee something of an even worse pickle if the tenants decide to get awkward. I suspect we may end up being out of pocket in which case I assume we try to get costs covered by LA and if that fails try the ombudsman.

I'd never dream of letting this situation arise in one of my properties and gobsmacked that a paid 'expert' can.

MrJohnnyB
11-07-2011, 16:55 PM
Thanks for the replies.

It is a relative's house which I am going to help them manage after this tenancy is sorted as I currently manage my own properties.

I don't profess to be an expert though I have done the NFOPP and APIP courses - but I was wondering if I was going mad when the conversation with the LA was relayed to me.

I thought is was one of the absolute basics not to let teanants retain keys in this way and I thought it was so obvious that i wondered if I'd missed something.

I think our priority is getting the keys back or I can forsee something of an even worse pickle if the tenants decide to get awkward. I suspect we may end up being out of pocket in which case I assume we try to get costs covered by LA and if that fails try the ombudsman.

I'd never dream of letting this situation arise in one of my properties and gobsmacked that a paid 'expert' can.

Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.

Paul_f
11-07-2011, 17:16 PM
Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.Yep! I agree with this entirely.

westminster
11-07-2011, 17:22 PM
Anyone know if deposit scheme rules now say tenants must have chance to go back in?

I have not heard of any such change to the deposit schemes' rules and think it's far more likely that the agent is either misinformed, confused, (or deliberately lying for reasons unknown).

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the deposit schemes' adjudication service (ADR) tends to favour the tenant's side, and adjudicators are not necessarily noted for their expert grasp of landlord and tenant law, so it's conceivable the agent has heard of a LL who lost a dispute because he'd failed to allow access after the tenancy ended or a garbled version.

Whatever a scheme's rules say, they cannot override the legal position, which is that after the tenancy ends, the tenant has no legal right of entry, even if T retains the keys. Assuming the tenancy *has* ended, if the T wilfully refuses to return the keys, you would be entitled to change the locks and charge T for this.

Note that ADR is not compulsory; you can choose to opt out and settle any dispute in the county court instead.

Lawcruncher
11-07-2011, 17:26 PM
...they said the deposit scheme rules had changed and you now have to give tenants the chance to do this - even after the end of the tenancy.

Ask the agent this question: Where does it say that then?

Scrungy
11-07-2011, 19:24 PM
I think our priority is getting the keys back

If this was me, my priority would be getting the locks changed.

Scrungy
11-07-2011, 19:33 PM
Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.

But this extremes of response is in keeping with many letting agent's MO, which is a misunderstanding or an "interpreted" version, of the appropriate laws.

Ians
12-07-2011, 12:25 PM
If this was me, my priority would be getting the locks changed.

Actually I had already asked this question of a 'landlord adviser' - I won't name names - in case it was an option.

I was told not to change the locks as the T could be considered to still be in possession of the house as they still have the keys and in turn my relative could be accused of harassment/illegal eviction.

Lawcruncher
13-07-2011, 16:03 PM
In connection with this thread point 4 in post 12 of this thread will be of interest: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?302486-HELP-!-Landlord-Letting-Agent-trying-to-claim-unfairly-against-deposit

Ians
13-07-2011, 21:06 PM
Thanks that's interesting.

tenant not being given opportunity to put right was a reason why the landlord lost the case.

seems to open a can of worms into how that is interpreted.

For example how long does a T get to put right and can T be entrusted to put right a specialist job, and if T was given a pre-move out letter or even if there was a pre-move out check as I do with my own properties a week before to help T identify pos problems does that count as T having been given the opportunity so you can say you can act from the last day of the tenancy.

mind the gap
13-07-2011, 21:18 PM
Thanks that's interesting.

tenant not being given opportunity to put right was a reason why the landlord lost the case.

seems to open a can of worms into how that is interpreted.

For example how long does a T get to put right and can T be entrusted to put right a specialist job, and if T was given a pre-move out letter or even if there was a pre-move out check as I do with my own properties a week before to help T identify pos problems does that count as T having been given the opportunity so you can say you can act from the last day of the tenancy.

I cannot think a judge would expect a LL routinely to give the T opportunity to remedy damage or do cleaning after the tenancy ends. Is this was a deposit scheme arbitrator, it would support the view that it is better for a LL to sue a T through the courts rather than accept the scheme's arbitration service if this is the sort of nonsense they come up with.

JK0
13-07-2011, 22:18 PM
I cannot think a judge would expect a LL routinely to give the T opportunity to remedy damage or do cleaning after the tenancy ends. Is this was a deposit scheme arbitrator, it would support the view that it is better for a LL to sue a T through the courts rather than accept the scheme's arbitration service if this is the sort of nonsense they come up with.

I agree. Can you imagine letting a tenant back in your property who was disgruntled that you had claimed items from his deposit? He might make the place ten times worse.

westminster
13-07-2011, 22:25 PM
Thanks that's interesting.

tenant not being given opportunity to put right was a reason why the landlord lost the case.


As MTG says, it's nonsense and amply demonstrates why LLs should opt out of ADR and settle disputes in the county court.

Lawcruncher
13-07-2011, 23:16 PM
But what seems to happen quite a lot is this:

Tenant cleans property.

Agent/landlord inspects and says it is fine.

Later agent/landlord says he is deducting cost of professional cleaning from deposit.

Tenant reminds landlord/agent that property was passed as clean and offers to go back and clean again to avoid deduction.

Landlord/agent declines.

***

There are many complaints that ADR favours tenants, but I cannot help feeling that at least to some extent the decisions are a vindication of the whole idea of protecting deposits and show that (at best) some landlords are just too fussy and also (as we always knew) that some landlords were just ripping tenants off.

mind the gap
14-07-2011, 09:06 AM
But what seems to happen quite a lot is this:

Tenant cleans property.

Agent/landlord inspects and says it is fine.

Later agent/landlord says he is deducting cost of professional cleaning from deposit.

Tenant reminds landlord/agent that property was passed as clean and offers to go back and clean again to avoid deduction.

Landlord/agent declines.

***

There are many complaints that ADR favours tenants, but I cannot help feeling that at least to some extent the decisions are a vindication of the whole idea of protecting deposits and show that (at best) some landlords are just too fussy and also (as we always knew) that some landlords were just ripping tenants off.

I am sure you are right in some cases and anecdotally I know of a number of LLs who have tried to sting Ts for cleaning charges when the Ts had left the place cleaner than they found it.

It doesn't however follow that ADR should assume that all LLs do that, nor take it upon themselves to redress the balance by favouring Ts in general and discriminating against LLs (by assuming they are all 'on the make'). Each case should be judged on its merits, otherwise it is hardly 'arbitration'.

Assuming LL has a detailed check-in inventory & Schedule of Condition agreed by Ts at outset, supported by photographic evidence of the state of the property & contents, plus the same level of evidence from the last day of the tenancy to support any claim he makes, then the arbitrator should scrutinise these and award the deductions if they can demonstrated to be reasonable, but not otherwise.

If the agent is the person who is paid to act for the LL in protecting and releasing the deposit and they agree with T that it can be released, that should happen immediately without waiting for the LL's say-so.

If agents are muddying the waters by agreeing all is OK when it is not, then LLs should be proactive in insisting on being present at the check-out and agreeing deductions with the Ts themselves.

This is however a different issue from the question of neutrality in ADR.

westminster
14-07-2011, 09:50 AM
But what seems to happen quite a lot is this:

Tenant cleans property.

Agent/landlord inspects and says it is fine.

Later agent/landlord says he is deducting cost of professional cleaning from deposit.

Tenant reminds landlord/agent that property was passed as clean and offers to go back and clean again to avoid deduction.

Landlord/agent declines.

***

There are many complaints that ADR favours tenants, but I cannot help feeling that at least to some extent the decisions are a vindication of the whole idea of protecting deposits and show that (at best) some landlords are just too fussy and also (as we always knew) that some landlords were just ripping tenants off.
I think it's inadvisable for agent/LL to inform T that all is well at check-out, especially on the basis of a superficial inspection (as opposed to a thorough one conducted by an independent clerk). However, whether the T is told it's fine or not fine, the fact is that T has no right of access after the tenancy ends; the T either is or isn't liable for any alleged damage/cleaning; and the LL either does or doesn't have the necessary evidence in the event of a dispute. I don't think it's unreasonable to refuse access to put things right; this could easily lead to delays in preparing the property for reletting.

Lawcruncher
14-07-2011, 11:19 AM
The principle that a tenant has no right of access after a tenancy has ended is not absolute; for example, in certain circumstances a tenant has a reasonable time to remove tenant's fixtures after the tenancy has ended.

Whatever the law, it seems to me that the adjudicators are taking a commendably pragmatic approach. If a landlord says that extra cleaning is needed before he can relet they take the view that they may as well let the tenant do the work. Whether the landlord is entitled to make a claim for loss of rent is another matter.

I suspect that many a County Court judge is likely to take as robust a view as an adjudicator, quite apart from expressing displeasure that the landlord did not avail himself of the chance for adjudication and making any order for costs accordingly.

JK0
14-07-2011, 11:42 AM
The principle that a tenant has no right of access after a tenancy has ended is not absolute; for example, in certain circumstances a tenant has a reasonable time to remove tenant's fixtures after the tenancy has ended.

Whatever the law, it seems to me that the adjudicators are taking a commendably pragmatic approach. If a landlord says that extra cleaning is needed before he can relet they take the view that they may as well let the tenant do the work. Whether the landlord is entitled to make a claim for loss of rent is another matter.

I suspect that many a County Court judge is likely to take as robust a view as an adjudicator, quite apart from expressing displeasure that the landlord did not avail himself of the chance for adjudication and making any order for costs accordingly.

So the landlord is at a disadvantage whatever he does? Sounds about right!

mind the gap
14-07-2011, 12:31 PM
Whatever the law, it seems to me that the adjudicators are taking a commendably pragmatic approach.

So you think it is acceptable for adjudicators, who are after all trying to resolve disputes involving a lot of money, - thousands of pounds in some cases - to consider themselves above the law? Are you saying it is 'commendable' for them to take the view that the law, together with the objective evidence provided to support the LL's case, is less important than a 'pragmatic' approach which assumes (subjectively) that the T is likely to have been hard done by and thus deserving of preferential treatment?

You surprise me!

Lawcruncher
14-07-2011, 14:33 PM
I am certainly not suggesting that adjudicators, arbitrators and the like should disregard the law or make assumptions before looking at a case that one class of people is more likely to be in the right than another. Rather I am suggesting that the courts are not always the appropriate tribunal to settle disputes if for no other reason than that there is little law involved. To take a few examples, rent reviews are best decided by surveyors and construction disputes by those who know how buildings should be constructed.

If the sole job of an adjudicator is to resolve deposit disputes he is soon going to get a feel for it. The point is not so much the quality of the evidence that the landlord supplies showing the condition of the property both when the tenancy began and when it ended, but whether the difference is such that the landlord is entitled to compensation. The general thrust of the law is, and has been for years, that a landlord must expect some deterioration in the property. It is that principle, rather than any idea that tenants are likely to be right, that I think informs the decisions. If decisions are going 81% in favour of tenants it is not because the adjudicators are biased in their favour but because tenants are right 81% of the time! :)

It is not the case that the tables have been turned on landlords, but that now there is a level playing field in that there is a straightforward procedure that tenants can follow to have a dispute resolved. Before deposit regulation came in a tenant had to sue, or at least threaten to sue, to get his deposit back if he felt his landlord was being unreasonable. Landlords could sit back and wait for the court papers which rarely came because tenants baulked at the idea of going to court feeling (unjustifiably) that the system was weighted against them and fearing they would be liable for costs out of proportion to the amount they were claiming if they lost.

I do not doubt that there are many landlords out there who feel aggrieved (in some cases justifiably) by decisions that have gone against them. However, the plain fact is that too many landlords have unreasonable expectations and they are being put right. Just because you are honest does not mean you are right.

mind the gap
14-07-2011, 14:49 PM
The general thrust of the law is, and has been for years, that a landlord must expect some deterioration in the property.

Nobody would argue with that, but equally, it has always been the case that cleanliness - the presence or absence of grime, dust and grease - is recognised as having nothing to do with fair wear and tear, which is what you seem to be talking about here.

If a property has demonstrably been cleaned to a very high standard when the Ts take possession, it is surely not an 'unreasonable expectation' that it be returned to the LL in the same state of cleanliness, regardless of the degree of wear and tear. Something can be 'worn' but still spotlessly clean.


If decisions are going 81% in favour of tenants it is not because the adjudicators are biased in their favour but because tenants are right 81% of the time!


How can you know that objectively?

Lawcruncher
14-07-2011, 15:10 PM
Nobody would argue with that, but equally, it has always been the case that cleanliness - the presence or absence of grime, dust and grease - is recognised as having nothing to do with fair wear and tear, which is what you seem to be talking about here.

If a property has demonstrably been cleaned to a very high standard when the Ts take possession, it is surely not an 'unreasonable expectation' that it be returned to the LL in the same state of cleanliness, regardless of the degree of wear and tear. Something can be 'worn' but still spotlessly clean.

I think the point is that the question to ask is: To what extent will a reasonable prospective tenant be put off?


How can you know that objectively?

The exclamation mark was pregnant with significance and intended to indicate that I did not know it objectively. I have added a smiley. :)

westminster
14-07-2011, 17:07 PM
It is not the case that the tables have been turned on landlords, but that now there is a level playing field in that there is a straightforward procedure that tenants can follow to have a dispute resolved.
I wouldn't call ADR a level playing field. For a start, you cannot appear in person to argue your case and given that the burden of proof is on the LL, this places him at a serious disadvantage.

Having just skimmed through the latest (May 2011) guidelines for deposit disputes (a publication relating to all three schemes) I found the following statements, all of which I find questionable. They give a taste of the difference in approach taken by ADR versus the county court:

[my emphasis in bold, and comments in blue]

The Tenancy agreement. - This is a necessity for all disputes. The adjudicator needs to establish the contractual obligations that apply to the landlord and tenant. If this document is not provided it is likely that the landlord’s claim will fail because the adjudicator will be unable to establish the obligations agreed between the parties.


Tenancy deposit protection schemes do not disregard, out of hand, inventories that are not prepared by independent companies or individuals. However, they are likely to place less weight on their contents. [Presumably even when signed by T]


Estimates and quotations will not be afforded the same weight as invoices or receipts as they do not demonstrate a cost actually incurred


It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear.


Where the dispute concerns rent arrears, account statements and/or bank statements which show arrears [!!!] outstanding are important; without this sort of evidence the adjudicator will struggle to confirm whether there were any arrears. [There's no mention of T having to prove payment.]

Nor is there any directive that LLs must allow Ts to re-enter to 'put right' anything after the tenancy ends.

Small wonder that many LLs' claims fail.

If this isn't enough to convince a LL to opt out of ADR, there is also the fact that you cannot appeal an ADR decision, so the LL who loses will then have to claim - again - in the county court, as well as enforce any judgment since the deposit will by then have been paid to the tenant (and the tenant may not have provided a forwarding address).

JK0
14-07-2011, 17:28 PM
Regrettably it's not just adjudicators who are biased against landlords. About ten years ago I appeared as a witness in the county court for a neighbour who had let his flat. My neighbour was claiming for unpaid rent. The tenant himself did not show up, just his parents who were guarantors I believe.

The father said that he did not believe that his son would not have paid the rent. My neighbour had bank statements that showed no rent had been paid in. Outrageously, the judge believed the father, alleging that my neighbour must have it in a different account!

With judges like that, what chance for the landlord?

Lawcruncher
15-07-2011, 12:30 PM
The Tenancy agreement. -This is a necessity for all disputes. The adjudicator needs to establish the contractual obligations that apply to the landlord and tenant. If this document is not provided it is likely that the landlord’s claim will fail because the adjudicator will be unable to establish the obligations agreed between the parties.

That is surely right. If a deposit is paid you have to say what it is supposed to cover. What it covers will be any loss suffered by the landlord as a result of the tenant's failure to comply with the agreement.

Tenancy deposit protection schemes do not disregard, out of hand, inventories that are not prepared by independent companies or individuals. However, they are likely to place less weight on their contents.[Presumably even when signed by T]

This takes account of what can happen in practice. If complaints by tenants made in legal forums are anything to go by, it is not unusual for a tenant to be pressured into signing an inventory without being afforded the opportunity to check it. He will be told by the agent that he can check it after he has moved in and let them know any changes that are needed. The tenant does the check and sends in an amended inventory. Repeated requests to confirm that the revised inventory is accepted are ignored.

Estimates and quotations will not be afforded the same weight as invoices or receipts as they do not demonstrate a cost actually incurred

That seems reasonable. At the back of the minds of the adjudicators is the possibility that the landlord will collect the cash, not carry out the repair or effect the replacement and relet the property. If that happens the landlord has “made a profit” where (in the terms of section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 even if it may not strictly apply) the value of his reversion has not been diminished.

It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear.

“Fair wear and tear” may not strictly apply to standards of cleanliness. I think the point is that the standard should not be one which differs significantly from that of the average owner-occupier. Once again I think it has to turn on “letabilty”.

Where the dispute concerns rent arrears, account statements and/or bank statements which show arrears [!!!]*outstanding are important; without this sort of evidence the adjudicator will struggle to confirm whether there were any arrears. [There's no mention of T having to prove payment.]

I concede this is not well-phrased. I am no litigator, but a creditor has to “prove” his debt. The debt cannot simply be alleged throwing the onus on the tenant to prove he does not owe the money, it has to be substantiated. In practice both sides present their evidence and the court weighs it up.

*

Whilst I cannot speak from experience, I am not convinced that a landlord will do better in court.

Ians
15-07-2011, 12:44 PM
As MTG says, it's nonsense and amply demonstrates why LLs should opt out of ADR and settle disputes in the county court.

As a matter of interest how does a landlord opt out of the ADR and when is this done - once you know a dispute is going to occur or do you have to opt out when the deposit is taken at the start of the tenancy?

JK0
15-07-2011, 13:16 PM
As a matter of interest how does a landlord opt out of the ADR and when is this done - once you know a dispute is going to occur or do you have to opt out when the deposit is taken at the start of the tenancy?

Only once you know a dispute is going to occur.

Did it turn out that the agent had re-housed the tenant, as I guessed?

Ians
15-07-2011, 16:55 PM
Only once you know a dispute is going to occur.

Did it turn out that the agent had re-housed the tenant, as I guessed?

I've not been able to find out yet. Though I am increasingly confident the agent is not competent, as one mess seems to be leading to another as the clock ticks down to the next tenant moving in.

Scrungy
15-07-2011, 17:51 PM
But what seems to happen quite a lot is this:

Tenant cleans property.

Agent/landlord inspects and says it is fine.

Later agent/landlord says he is deducting cost of professional cleaning from deposit.

Tenant reminds landlord/agent that property was passed as clean and offers to go back and clean again to avoid deduction.

Landlord/agent declines.

***

There are many complaints that ADR favours tenants, but I cannot help feeling that at least to some extent the decisions are a vindication of the whole idea of protecting deposits and show that (at best) some landlords are just too fussy and also (as we always knew) that some landlords were just ripping tenants off.


All of which strongly point to obtaining a professional and independent inventory check out report with photographs/video, at the check out of every tenant.

I can't imagine running my affairs in any other way.

westminster
15-07-2011, 20:21 PM
It's rather refreshing to disagree with you, lawcruncher!


The Tenancy agreement. -This is a necessity for all disputes. The adjudicator needs to establish the contractual obligations that apply to the landlord and tenant. If this document is not provided it is likely that the landlord’s claim will fail because the adjudicator will be unable to establish the obligations agreed between the parties.

That is surely right. If a deposit is paid you have to say what it is supposed to cover. What it covers will be any loss suffered by the landlord as a result of the tenant's failure to comply with the agreement.
This would seem to suggest that a tenant with an oral contract may damage the property or not pay the rent with impunity?


Tenancy deposit protection schemes do not disregard, out of hand, inventories that are not prepared by independent companies or individuals. However, they are likely to place less weight on their contents. (Presumably even when signed by T)

This takes account of what can happen in practice. If complaints by tenants made in legal forums are anything to go by, it is not unusual for a tenant to be pressured into signing an inventory without being afforded the opportunity to check it. He will be told by the agent that he can check it after he has moved in and let them know any changes that are needed. The tenant does the check and sends in an amended inventory. Repeated requests to confirm that the revised inventory is accepted are ignored.
I cannot see that this is the thinking behind the guidelines. A tenant might be pressured to sign an inventory prepared by an independent clerk or by an agent or landlord; what's the difference? What the guidelines are saying is that an inventory prepared by an agent/landlord has inherently less value as evidence and I find this highly questionable. I have direct experience of successfully claiming against a tenant for damage (in the county court) where the check-in inventory was a single sheet of A4 written by me (and signed by T). Clearly, my evidence satisfied the court, so why should it not satisfy an adjudicator?


Estimates and quotations will not be afforded the same weight as invoices or receipts as they do not demonstrate a cost actually incurred

That seems reasonable. At the back of the minds of the adjudicators is the possibility that the landlord will collect the cash, not carry out the repair or effect the replacement and relet the property. If that happens the landlord has “made a profit” where (in the terms of section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 even if it may not strictly apply) the value of his reversion has not been diminished.
Is it legally necessary to incur a cost in order to suffer a loss? For example, let's say the tenant breaks a table to the value of £100, but the landlord decides not to replace it at that time (for any number of perfectly good reasons) - he's still suffered a loss of £100, because he has lost the table.

Or, let's say the table was by Philipe Starck and cost £1,000 and not £100. Is the LL obliged to replace it with the same standard of table for the next tenant, even after having realized how stupid he was to provide such an expensive table in the first place? (could easily happen with an 'accidental' landlord who has let his own home).

Or, it may be the case that the LL is waiting for the deposit to be awarded before he can afford to carry out the repair or replacement (ideally, a LL ought to manage his business so that he's not so strapped for cash that this happens, but he shouldn't be penalized if it does happen).

To me, a LL, the guidelines' emphasis on 'costs actually incurred' fails utterly to take into account the variables of real life, and demonstrates an anti-LL bias. (The vast majority of us really aren't out to sting the tenant for unfair deductions and I've only had the one dispute in 12 years).



It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear.

“Fair wear and tear” may not strictly apply to standards of cleanliness. I think the point is that the standard should not be one which differs significantly from that of the average owner-occupier. Once again I think it has to turn on “letabilty”.
I disagree. I think that the statement demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand that dirt/grease/dust is not fair wear and tear. As MTG said before, an item may be worn, scratched or marked, but still be spotlessly clean.


Where the dispute concerns rent arrears, account statements and/or bank statements which show arrears [!!!]*outstanding are important; without this sort of evidence the adjudicator will struggle to confirm whether there were any arrears. [There's no mention of T having to prove payment.]

I concede this is not well-phrased. I am no litigator, but a creditor has to “prove” his debt. The debt cannot simply be alleged throwing the onus on the tenant to prove he does not owe the money, it has to be substantiated. In practice both sides present their evidence and the court weighs it up.
Yes, but the guidelines make no mention of both sides' involvement in the process and merely assert that the adjudicator will 'struggle' unless LL provides bank statements proving arrears, which is clearly a nonsense, as the LL simply cannot prove non-payment. To me this is further evidence that ADR is unfairly biased in favour of the T.


Whilst I cannot speak from experience, I am not convinced that a landlord will do better in court.
If my aforementioned country court claim against T had been decided by ADR, then, based on their guidelines, there's a good chance I'd have lost the claim. As it was, I was awarded a portion of my claim (approx £3,500 of £5,000) and my actual real life losses were more than £5,000 but I kept the claim to £5,000 because of the small claims limit. I was suspicious of ADR before, but now that I've read the guidelines there's no chance I'd ever agree to it - and I think I'd have ample evidence to justify my reasons should the court raise the issue of why I chose to opt out.