Adjudicators Prefer Words To Video

The debate rages on about whether photographs and videos are sufficient in themselves as evidence when it comes to adjudication in tenancy disputes. From statements issued by both the TDS and MyDeposits, it’s clear that written evidence – in the form of a detailed inventory and check out – is still vital to allow adjudicators to give a judgement.

Video of a property immediately relies on the adjudicator having the correct playback equipment, as well as the patience to search through what can often be a long ‘film’ to find the part that deals with the area in dispute. In addition, video needs to be supported by a detailed narrative to explain what is on display.

Photographs, too, are only really useful to back up a written inventory, as a photo alone can give no context and needs to state clearly the date, the time of day, and to give some idea of scale. This makes taking such photos in the first place a time-consuming practice – for little benefit.

New Technology Is Not Always The Answer

New technology can make life easier for inventory clerks. Digital recorders, for instance, make dictating and transcribing an inventory a much faster process. But video and digital cameras, although convenient, bring no such obvious benefits. For many companies, it would appear that simply because it can be done, it is assumed it should be done. No investigation is carried out into the pros and cons of following the photographic route.

At Chase, we use photographs sparingly and only when explicitly asked. Our written inventories are still the best protection a landlord has when seeking to safeguard his or her investment in their property. Relying solely on video or photographs could prove a costly decision for landlords who then find that adjudicators cannot accurately determine the original condition of their property.