Tip 10: The Burden of Proof (It’s your problem)
The deposit protection schemes ADR departments employ legal principles in deciding disputes, including the concept of burden of proof. The phrase ‘burden of proof’ is legalese for whose problem it is to convince the court, or adjudicator, that they are right.
The schemes take the view that, as the the deposit money is provided by the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy, unless there is evidence to show that the landlord is entitled to keep some or all of it, the deposit should be returned to the tenant. This places the burden of proof on the landlord. If the landlord cannot provide evidence to show why he or she is entitled to the money, it will be returned to the tenant.
Some landlords that I speak to feel this is unfair, particularly if they are used to the old system, where return of the deposit was more or less at the discretion of the landlord, however, deciding claims in this way is in-keeping with how legal disputes are determined by the courts and is perfectly proper. When making a claim, keep in mind that it is up to you to prove your case, and that if you don’t submit sufficient evidence, you will lose.