Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR)?

  • What is the ADR Service?

    An independent service that acts as an alternative to going to court, aiming to resolve disputes between Landlords and Tenants through evidence-based adjudication. If the lead tenant agrees to use the ADR service either when defining a disputed amount, or within 30 working days of defining a disputed amount, the case will be handled by the ADR service.
  • How does The ADR service work?

    Once we have had notification of a dispute we will retain the disputed amount and issue evidence requests to both parties. Evidence must be received by us within 10 working days.

    The dispute will then be referred to the Adjudicator.

    The Adjudicator will have 20 working days from the date of receiving the file in order to make a decision based on the evidence provided by the parties.

    If we have a valid email address we will send the evidence request by email or SMS to tenants only. Alternatively, the evidence request form will be sent by post to the registered address.

    If either party wishes to have copies of the other party's evidence, a written request must be made to us.

  • How long does the ADR Process take?

    Once the Tenant agrees to the ADR service, we will issue an Evidence Request to both parties. Both parties will have a 10 working day deadline to respond. Once the evidence is received and processed, we will pass the case to our adjudicators who will issue a decision on the case within 20 working days. Providing neither party requests a review of the decision, the repayment will be made within 5 working days. More information on the review process can be found in the "Can the adjudication be appealed?" FAQ.

    If you have any further enquiries, please contact us using the Online Form.

  • How do I use the service?

    The process is started once the Lead Tenant agrees to use the ADR service to resolve a dispute over a disputed amount. If there is a disputed amount and the lead tenant does not agree to settle the dispute or use the ADR service within 30 working days of defining the disputed amount, this amount will be returned to the agent/landlord in order for the dispute to be decided through the courts.
  • How much does it cost?

    The service is free.
  • How long does it take to receive the deposit once the adjudication has been made?

    Once the adjudicator has come to a decision, the decision is issued and both parties have 10 working days to make a review request again the decision. This review will only be undertaken in instances where the adjudicator has made an error in either the facts provided or the legal position of the case. If no request for review is accepted within this 10 day period, the deposit will be repaid within 5 working days of the expiry of the period for review.

    If you still have a question on this matter please email us using the Online Form.

  • What happens if the Lead Tenant does not agree to use the ADR service

    The ADR service can only be used where the Lead Tenant agrees to resolve the dispute through it, and to be bound by the decision. If there is a disputed amount and the lead tenant does not agree to settle the dispute or use the ADR service within 15 working days of defining the disputed amount, we will contact all the tenants and request any one of the tenants to agree to use ADR and deal with the dispute. If none of the tenants have contacted us within 30 working days of the disputed amount being defined, this amount will be returned to the agent/landlord in order for the dispute to be decided through the courts.
  • What happens if the Agent/Landlord does not want to use the ADR service?

    Agreement to use the ADR service is mandatory for all agent/landlords using the LPS Scotland where the tenant(s) wish to use the ADR service.
  • Who will The LPS Scotland communicate with in respect of a dispute?

    The repayment process is handled by the agent/landlord and the sole/lead tenant. If there is a disputed amount and the lead tenant does not agree to settle the dispute or use the ADR service within 15 working days of defining the disputed amount, we will contact all the tenants and request any one of the tenants to agree to use ADR and deal with the dispute. Once the deposit is being dealt with by the ADR service, we will only communicate with the named agent/landlord and the responsive tenant about evidence submissions and dispute resolution.
  • Will the Adjudicator contact me directly?

    Only in very exceptional circumstances. The Adjudicator may raise a query regarding the evidence or make a request for further information or documentation which they consider is necessary in order to settle the dispute in a fair and reasonable way, in line with the law. The query will be passed to the relevant party by one of our administrators, Any such additional information must be provided within the time limits set by the Adjudicator. If either party does not provide the additional information or documents within the time set by the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator will continue the adjudication as they consider appropriate, including if they consider it appropriate providing a decision based only on the information and documents already provided.

    The Adjudicator is not obliged to contact the parties, and therefore the evidence supplied to The LPS Scotland must include all the relevant supporting documentation that is relied upon.

    If it appears that a key part of the evidence is missing (i.e. there are pages omitted from the tenancy agreement submitted), the Adjudicator is likely to request the additional pages. Likewise, if the parties’ correspondence to us states that a particular document (such as a check in inventory) is submitted but this cannot be found within the papers by the Adjudicator, it is likely that the Adjudicator will request this document. However, if there is no indication that the party intended to submit such documentation for the Adjudicators’ consideration, the Adjudicator will not request it. Likewise, if it is apparent from the submissions made that such documentation exists but the parties have not submitted it to the Adjudicator, the Adjudicator is likely to complete the decision based solely upon the evidence presented to them.

  • Who makes the adjudication decision?

    The adjudication will be undertaken by a legally qualified and suitably trained independent Adjudicator appointed by The LPS Scotland.
  • Can the adjudication be appealed?

    Yes, but only in the event that the adjudicator has made an error in either the facts provided or the legal position of the case. In order for a case to be reviewed, the specific reasons for the review must be received by us within 10 working days of the date the original decision was issued. If the review is accepted, we will invite comments from the other party in relation to the review request and make a decision over whether or a not a further adjudication is necessary. If a further adjudication is completed, the second adjudicator will have 10 working days to come to a final decision on the case. This decision is final and binding and is not subject to the appeals process.

    If you still have a question on this matter please email us using the Online Form.

  • What happens to the undisputed amount?

    If there are undisputed amounts, they can be released without affecting any disputed amounts entering ADR. Any undisputed amounts must be indicated to us via the online service before an ADR case is created.

    You will only use the ADR service if the lead tenant enters a disputed amount and agrees to use the ADR service - this can be all or some of the deposit.

    Any agreed undisputed amounts will be released, in accordance with the instructions provided to The LPS Scotland, within 5 working days of the tenant agreeing to use the ADR service to resolve the dispute.

    If you still have a question on this matter please email us using the Online Form.

  • The dispute is being dealt with through the Sheriff Court; what information is required to release the deposit?

    If a case has been referred to the Sheriff Court in order for a dispute to be resolved, the deposit will be released to the Agent/Landlord.

    You will have 30 working days to notify us if you want to use our Alternative Dispute Resolution service. If you do not, and instead wish to go to court, the deposit will be released to the Agent/Landlord in line with their request within 5 working days after the 30 working day period has expired.

  • How can I be sure that the Adjudicator is impartial?

    Our Adjudicators act independently of the case handling process and are therefore fully independent and impartial.
  • Can I send video evidence?

    The Adjudicator will consider video evidence submitted by either party. It may be useful however to note the relevant points of video (for example: 3 mins 40 seconds – damage to carpet) in order to direct the Adjudicator to the relevant parts of any footage.
  • Can I send photographic evidence?

    The Adjudicator will consider either printed or digital photographs. Printed photographs should be signed, and the date when the photographs were taken confirmed. It may be helpful to submit a statement from the person who took the photographs confirming this information. Adjudicators will check the “properties” tab of digital photographs to verify the date when they were taken. Again, a statement from the person who took the photographs may be useful. The photographs should be as clear as possible – small sized “thumbnail” copies of photographs may be insufficiently clear. The Adjudicator should be provided with actual copies of the photographs. The Adjudicator will not access photographs uploaded via photo sharing websites such as Flickr or SkyDrive.
  • Will the Adjudicator consider my claim if I do not have an independent third party inventory?

    It is possible for any party to provide an inventory, and any such evidence will be considered by the Adjudicator. However the inventory documentation may be a crucial factor in deciding the dispute between the parties. Whilst there is no reason why a landlord cannot provide a fair and accurate inventory, it is best practice for the inventory to be provided by a third party, in order to avoid any argument regarding bias.

    If you still have a question on this matter please email us using the Online Form.

  • What do I need to submit if I am asked to provide additional evidence before my case is submitted for adjudication?

    If you are asked to provide additional evidence before the case is submitted to the Adjudicator, you may submit supplementary evidence to support your initial evidence submissions. This can include documentary evidence, photographs or video clips. The landlord/agent should not raise any new claims at this stage. If new claims are submitted, they may be rejected by the Adjudicator as they will not have been included in the summary of the claim provided by us to the tenant. This would mean that the tenant was not given an opportunity to provide evidence or make submissions in respect of these issues, and would breach their right to a fair hearing as set out in Article 6 Human Rights Act 1998.

    Alternatively, if the Adjudicator considers it appropriate to admit these new claims (for example if the landlord could not have been aware of the new claim when the dispute was first started), the Adjudicator may allow additional time for the tenant to be given notice of the claim and be provided an opportunity to submit evidence or make submissions in respect of the new claims. However, this will lead to a delay in the resolution of the dispute.

  • How do I submit evidence?

    Evidence can only be submitted on request by The LPS Scotland. If evidence is sent to us when a deposit is not in dispute resolution, it will be returned to the sender.

    In accordance with the ADR procedure, we will make a request to each party for their evidence. Evidence submissions may be made by post or by email to disputes@lettingprotectionscotland.com. If you are sending your evidence submissions by post, we advise that you do so by recorded delivery to ensure safe receipt within the relevant period. If you are sending your evidence by email, please note that we may not receive your email if your attachments are larger than 20Mb.

    If you have problems submitting your evidence within the relevant period you should contact The LPS Scotland at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do so will invalidate your claim via the ADR service.

  • Will you contact me if you need more evidence in respect of my dispute?

    No. We do not request specific evidence from either party, nor do we issue specific guidance on what evidence should be submitted to support a party’s claim to a Deposit. It is the party’s sole responsibility to submit all evidence that they feel is required to substantiate their claims.
  • What evidence should be supplied?

    It is advisable to set out the precise details of the issues which are in dispute as well as the reasons for the amount of any deposit claimed by the agent/landlord.

    It is essential for an agent / landlord that the valid written tenancy agreement for the tenancy to which the deposit relates is submitted, in order for a claim to be considered by the adjudicator under the ADR service.

    It is strongly suggested that the following evidence is submitted, where appropriate:

    • the signed and dated check-in inventory and schedule of condition
    • vacating instructions
    • the signed and dated check-out inventory and schedule of condition
    • if a letting agent is acting, a copy of their terms of business/ management
    • a schedule of the cost of any works sought from the deposit together with estimates, invoices and receipts (produced by an independent or third party) and photographs
    • a statement of the rent account, if relevant
    • where housing benefit has been paid, a letter from the Housing Benefit Department stating when it will stop, or that it has stopped
    • any other relevant information including photographs, DVDs, correspondence or receipts. Any photographs or digital evidence must be signed or a statement should be attached signed by the party providing them, showing clearly the date on which they were taken
    • confirmation of contact between the tenant and the agent/landlord and copies of any correspondence between them or details of their discussions.

    Adjudication decisions can only be reached on the basis of the evidence received by The LPS Scotland from the parties. The LPS Scotland will not chase either party for evidence. It is the sole responsibility of the party to ensure that all supporting evidence is received by The LPS Scotland within the timescales allotted to them. Any evidence received after a dispute has been sent to the Adjudicator may not be taken into account by the Adjudicator.

    If you still have a question on this matter please email us using the Online Form.

  • Will The LPS Scotland return my evidence after a decision has been made?

    At any stage of the ADR process whereby you are asked to provide evidence or supporting documentation, clear and legible photocopies/scans should be provided rather than the original documents. The LPS Scotland is unable to return any documentation once they have been submitted to us. Therefore, to avoid the loss of any original documents, we ask that you only submit copies.
  • I have an enquiry relating to my deposit which is currently in Alternative Dispute Resolution?

    To ask a question about your particular case please send an email to disputes@lettingprotectionscotland.com.
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