Guide to disputes and deposits

At the end of a tenancy we will visit your rental property to complete a check out inspection. Following this a report will be compiled which we will use in the case of any dispute. A copy of the report will be sent to you.


All our deposits are held by the Deposit Protection Service in their custodial scheme. As part of this scheme a dispute resolution service is provided to landlords and tenants free of charge. This service is provided as an alternative to proceeding through the courts. Any claim against a deposit is a civil claim. A decision will be made on the ‘balance of probabilities’ that the tenant has breached their obligations and caused the landlord to suffer a loss as a result.


The onus is on the landlord to prove a legitimate claim against the deposit. There is no obligation of proof on the tenant as the deposit remains their money until a claim is proven.

The decision of the adjudicator is legally binding on both parties. The only way that the decision can be challenged is through a Court of Law.


Adjudicators will arrive at a deduction which they consider to be fair and reasonable. Wear and Tear on a property will be considered. Wear and Tear has been defined as ‘reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces.’ It is an established legal principle that a landlord is not entitled to charge the tenants the full cost for having any part of their property, or any fixture or fitting put back the condition it was at the start of the tenancy. The adjudicator will also seek the most appropriate remedy to avoid the landlord ending up in a better position either financially or materially than they were at the beginning of the tenancy, or than they would have been at the end of the tenancy having allowed for Wear and Tear.


Factors which are considered by the adjudicator


Length of tenancy

Number and Age of occupiers

Wear and Tear versus Damage

Quality and Condition of original items


Guide to Product Lifespans


These lifespans are for guidance and can be affected by a number of factors such as the number of occupants, size of property etc.



Low Quality – 2 – 4 years

Medium Quality – 5 – 8 years

High Quality – 8 – 15 years


Areas of heavy traffic such as corridors, hallways and stairs will wear more quickly and so their lifespan will need to be adjusted accordingly.


Natural Fibre carpets – up to 8 years

Laminate flooring – 5 – 10 years

Hardwood flooring – 15 – 50 years

Decoration – 3 – 5 years


If any item such as flooring has been damaged a landlord may wish to replace the damaged item but the extent of the damage may not be such that the tenant should bear the full cost of the replacement. Consideration should be given to the age of the item at the end of the tenancy, the length of the tenancy and the impact on any remaining life span at the end of the tenancy.

For example;

Replacement carpet - £500.00

Actual age of existing carpet – 2 years

Average lifespan of carpet – 5 years

Residual lifespan of carpet – 3 years

Depreciation of value rate - £100 per year

Reasonable apportionment cost to tenant - £300.00


Evidence which will be required to substantiate a claim


Invoices and confirmation of payment – These are the best form of evidence as adjudicator will be looking for a cost which has actually been incurred. 


Estimates and/or quote – These aren’t as strong as invoices but they will still be considered as they show the extent of charges necessary to rectify any damages.


Generally, landlords can’t claim for their time and inconvenience but a reasonable claim may be considered if it is proportionate and supported.







The adjudicator will consider the size and type of property and consider the amount of cleaning that the tenant is liable for. The landlord can carry out the clean themselves but they will need to support their claim by producing quotes for the cleaning from a contractor to show that the costs are not greater than if they hired professional help. 


Maintenance or Repair


The landlord is always liable for the structure, maintenance and repair of the property under statute. The adjudicator will need to understand why the requested deduction is exempt from this statutory responsibility in order to make award for the tenant to pay.


If you have any queries please call our office on 01603 627107 or email us on


Office Hours

Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm

Saturday 10 am to 1 pm.  

Sunday and Bank Holidays Closed

Viewings available outside these times by arrangement.


Please Note

Visitors are always welcome during office hours. We may even pop the kettle on.

At odd times we have to close the office without warning so please call ahead to ensure we are in.

Office Address

138 Colman Road, Norwich NR4 7AA.

Norwich 01603 627107

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