ADR Digest

We have created a series of case studies to give you a better understanding of the mydeposits Scotland dispute resolution process so you can see how the adjudicators review a dispute case and make their final decision.

Remember the adjudicators are only able to consider the evidence you submit so providing high quality evidence to support your claim is a necessity.

Case Study - Garden Maintenance

  • Disputed Deposit Value: £150
  • Dispute details: The garden was left in an unsatisfactory state at the end of the tenancy, with overgrown shrubs, weeds and the lawn in need of mowing.
  • Key topics: Clause in AST relating to the upkeep of garden, check-in and check-out reports compiled by a professional inventory firm.

Case Details

The tenant moved into the property in 2007 and lived there for almost four years. The property had several garden beds and a lawn. The tenancy agreement contained a clause stating the tenant was obliged to keep the garden, driveway and paths around the premises clean and tidy, to mow the lawns as necessary, to ensure garden beds were kept weed-free, and shrubs and hedges maintained. When the tenant moved out, the garden was in a poor state, with untidy gardens and the lawn not mown.

Evidence

The landlord submitted check-in and check-out reports compiled by an independent inventory company. The reports were accompanied by detailed and digitally dated photographs of the garden, clearly showing its condition before and after the tenancy. Invoices from a gardening company for mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and tidy up hedges and shrubs were submitted, totalling £150. The tenant asserted that much of the growth was not weeds, but untidy self-seeding plants.

Adjudicator's Findings

The adjudicator found that the tenant had breached at AST clause obliging them to keep the garden, driveway and lawns clean and tidy. The detailed inventory from a professional inventory company, along with photos, clearly demonstrated the deterioration in the state of the garden. Invoices supplied by the landlord showed the cost incurred to have the garden tidied, proving the loss suffered by the landlord.

Key points from the case

  • Ensure all properties with a garden contain a clause in the AST detailing the tenant’s obligations to keep it neat and tidy. Alternatively, arrange for a regular gardening and lawn mowing service and factor this cost into the rent.
  • Provide a detailed check-in inventory with clear photos, including outside areas of the property, preferably done by a professional third party as these tend to be more detailed and are carried out by qualified individuals. Ensure it is signed by the tenant.
  • Keep invoices for any gardening company used to tidy up a garden at the start, if appropriate, and end of a tenancy.
  • Carry out regular inspections of the property, to ensure the garden is being maintained especially over a lengthy tenancy.

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