Nowadays it’s common practice for landlords and agents to take photographs and video footage of the rental property at the beginning of a tenancy as evidence of the condition and existence of fixtures, fittings and items included as part of the tenancy.
Gathering evidence can often aid negotiations if you find that you need to deduct money from your tenant’s deposit to cover any charges to remedy issues such as carpet stains, damage to the walls or an overgrown garden area.
However, in the event that negotiations fail and you and your tenant cannot agree over your proposed deductions then you may need to submit evidence to the Alternative Dispute Resolution service provided by your deposit protection scheme, in order to prove your claim to the deposit.
It’s important to remember that photographs can only tell part of the story and should not be relied upon exclusively if you end up in a formal dispute.
Photographs should always be submitted to an adjudicator along with your key evidence such as your Tenancy Agreement and check in reports, and can help add weight to your claim and paint a clearer picture for an adjudicator reviewing your case. It’s also important to ensure that your evidence is authentic, relevant to your claim and of good, clear quality.
New guidance to help landlords and agents
To help ensure that your digital evidence is up to scratch, we’ve created a free guide for landlords and agents packed full of handy tips including:
>Advice on formatting and scaling photographs
>How to ensure your evidence is relevant
>Ways to prove authenticity
>The importance of providing good quality footage