Landlords turning to video evidence

Nia Williams

October 30, 2009

mydeposits.co.uk’s online dispute service is now receiving up to five pieces of video evidence a week, a figure which is rising as landlords and letting agents realise that clear evidence must be produced if they wish to withhold all or part of a deposit at the end of a tenancy.

By law, the starting point for dispute resolution is that the deposit money belongs to the tenant, not the landlord. To retain all or part of the deposit the landlord must provide evidence for any damage or other costs. When tenancy deposit legislation came into effect, many landlords and agents failed to provide the necessary evidence and consequently lost out in disputes.

As more landlords get to grips with the dispute process some are now turning to video footage, finding it an effective way to prove a property’s condition at the beginning and end of tenancy. “It makes tenants realise you are professional and in turn I’ve found that tenants are more likely to look after the property,” said a Bournemouth landlord.

Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits.co.uk, said: “It is no bad thing that landlords are trying to provide the most detailed evidence they can. A well put together video can really enhance the check in and check out process. It lets both parties know exactly where they stand and helps prevent disputes. However, although video footage may prove useful it isn’t a foolproof method. It shouldn’t replace other important forms of evidence such as inventories, photographs, receipts and correspondence.

“It is also worth remembering that the overwhelming majority of tenancies end without any problems. Only 0.61 per cent of tenancies protected by mydeposits.co.uk end in dispute – a tiny proportion of the 403,146 deposits currently under protection.”

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