Somebody once described an adjudicator’s life as “sitting in a small dark room, with a large pile of paper” in order to make their decision.

It’s true that adjudicators won’t speak directly to the agent/landlord or tenant. And it’s also true that they are often presented with a large amount of information to work through.

Cases of note include:

  • a transit van arriving at TDS HQ with an agent’s archive files for a particular tenancy so that “the adjudicator won’t miss anything”;
  • the tenant who sent washing machine parts to test to prove that the landlord’s machine caused a leak and not them;
  • a landlord who sent over 100 photographs of a damaged kitchen worktop to prove their case.

The moral of these stories? Adjudicators have to make their decision based on what the agent/landlord or tenant in a dispute tell them – they can’t seek further evidence (and we can’t test washing machines!).  This, perhaps understandably, results in the parties wanting to send us ‘War and Peace’. But sending too much, information that is irrelevant (‘just in case’), or simply expecting the adjudicator to work it out, doesn’t always help.

The top tip? Imagine you were stood in front of the adjudicator with that large pile of paper, and asked to make a short pitch to them on what your case was, and why you think you should succeed.  How would you set the scene? What would your main points be? And if the adjudicator asked you to prove any of those points, which particular piece of paper in that large pile would you refer them to? Converting that into your written submission goes a long way to telling the adjudicator your story and throwing some light into that small dark room.

How to present your case to the TDS Adjudicator

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