ADR insight – a claim over white goods

I thought it would be useful to provide you with details of some ADR case histories as an insight into the types of claims our adjudicators handle and how they reach their decision in each case. One such case involved a letting agent who wanted to claim £130.00 for a fridge that was missing when the tenant moved out.

The tenant disputed the claim because when the inventory was signed they also signed an additional form. This form stated that if any white goods at the property failed it was the tenant’s responsibility to remove and dispose of them and they would not be replaced by the landlord.

The tenant’s supporting evidence claimed that the fridge broke during the tenancy, and as per their original agreement with the landlord, they replaced it and notified the letting agent. Once the tenancy ended they took their new fridge with them.

The letting agent claimed that at some point during the tenancy the landlord had requested an alteration to the inventory to include white goods and that a document was drawn up to support this – therefore suggesting the tenants were not in a position to remove the fridge. However, the tenant’s evidence stated that they hadn’t signed a document of this nature.

In their evidence submission, the letting agent provided a copy of the first agreement regarding white goods, which had been signed by the tenant, but didn’t produce a copy of the check-in inventory. In addition, the letting agent submitted a copy of the second document, which indicated that white goods should be added to the inventory, but the document submitted was not signed by the tenant. As this document was unsigned and in view of the tenant disputing that they had never signed such an agreement, there was no evidence to show that the tenant had agreed to the amendment.

In this particular case, the letting agent’s claim failed. The adjudicator accepted the tenant’s submission and supporting evidence which showed that the first agreement was the only one made between the landlord and tenant and the tenant acted in accordance with that agreement.

Our adjudicators say: “If you make amendments to the inventory, or any separate or additional agreement is made with your tenants during the course of the tenancy, then make sure these amendments have been signed and dated by both parties. Otherwise they’re unlikely to carry much weight during the adjudication process.”

The above is an example of a previous case. Each ADR case is assessed independently by our adjudicators on the basis of the evidence presented to support the claim.