The Dispute Service (TDS) ADR Claim Process
TDS will only adjudicate where the landlord and tenant have already made a reasonable attempt to resolve the dispute, so don't just make a claim. You need to talk to your landlord ... and keep records of the communications!
Warning: You need to make a decent attempt to resolve the dispute with the landlord and in conjunction with the agent (where one is involved) as they can only deal with claims for deductions from a tenant's deposit. Any awards made cannot be for more than the amount of the deposit.
The TDS encourages the parties to raise the issues between themselves within 20 days of the end of the tenancy. You then have 10 days to resolve the matter. If that fails it should promptly be referred to the adjudicator.
Either the landlord or the tenant may initiate the dispute by submitting a form to the adjudicator. If the landlord starts the dispute they must also lodge the deposit with The Dispute Service or within 10 days of notification that a tenant has sent in notification of a dispute. Any evidence in response should be submitted to the adjudicator within 10 days of notification of the dispute.
The adjudicator may at their own discretion pay the deposit to the tenant where the landlord has: not paid their subscription; not paid in the deposit; not provided a written tenancy agreement; not provided sufficient information about The Dispute Service; not provided a check-in or out inventory or unreasonably delayed the dispute.
What you must do.