Resolution case study - Storm damage

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We offer an independent and impartial resolution service for landlords, agents and tenants who are unable to reach an agreement on distributing the deposit when the tenancy ends.


We look at a recent case and break it down. Our Lead Adjudicator, Emma Louka helps you to understand our approach which in this case involves storm damage.

Deposit details

Deposit                              £1,320.00

unresolved amount             £210.00

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What happened?

The tenant said:

  • the shed window is broken but it must have been caused by a stone during the storms. The damage was only noticed at the end of the tenancy when clearing out their belongings, as they had not been in the garden
  • the bench was already in a poor condition and was coming apart. This was blown over by the wind which caused it to fall apart and was reported to the agent the next day


The agent responded, saying:

  • there were some storms a few months before the end of the tenancy but at no point did the tenant report any issues with the shed. It is clear from the damage that it has been caused by a large object
  • the bench wasn’t in the best condition when the tenant moved in, however it is now completely unusable
  • the tenant should have taken more precautions to prevent the damage during the storms and should be responsible for replacement


What was decided and why?


  1. The check-in report recorded that the shed was in very good condition at the start of the tenancy.
  2. The check-out report showed that one of the front windows was cracked, with a large hole in the centre.
  3. There was no evidence to show that the tenant reported any issues with the shed window at the time of the storms or any time after.
  4. The landlord provided a replacement invoice from a contractor which includes a comment that the damage appeared to have been caused by heavy impact.
  5. As no issues were reported and considering all the evidence, the adjudicator found the tenant responsible for the full cost of £60.00 for the replacement window, which was reasonable.

Garden bench

  1. The check-in report said that the garden bench was in poor condition with the comment ‘it does not appear stable to sit on’.
  2. The photograph in the check-out report showed the bench dismantled in a corner of the garden. The emails make it clear that the tenant reported this damage to the agent the day after the storm.
  3. This was in line with their responsibility under the tenancy agreement and given its original condition it was decided, on balance, that the bench was damaged beyond repair by the storm.
  4. The adjudicator decided the tenant could not be found responsible and no award was made for replacement.

How can you avoid this happening in future?

  • Tenants should be encouraged to always report issues when they happen
  • Landlords should carry out periodic inspections to check for any damage and in the event of any extraordinary events such as a bad storm, should just check in with their tenants to enquire whether there has been any damage
  • Before negotiating any responsibility or costs, landlords should be aware of the condition of the item or area from the check-in report
  • Contractor’s statements/reports can be very useful where responsibility may be unclear
  • Damage and any negotiation on costs must always take fair wear and tear into consideration


For more information on the steps you can take to reduce the risk of storm damage, Total Landlord, also powered by Total Property, has written a guide, Protecting your rental property against storms, which provides lots of practical advice to protect your tenants and your property.

Making sure that you have comprehensive landlord insurance in place will help provide peace of mind that you are protected if your rental property is damaged by a storm.

Note: where the case studies relate to insurance and we link to relevant Total Landlord content, like with this one on storms, do we want flag the discount for mydeposits members?