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The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has once again warned buy to let landlords to conduct inventories properly, even for unfurnished properties.
They say it’s not just the ‘loose’ contents that need protecting with an inventory but carpets, bathrooms and even walls and cupboards. Worktop chips and scratches should be recorded in the inventory, as with windows and frames.
Obvious as it may seem, AIIC say wall colour should be recorded along with condition. A tenant changing the colour without it previously being recorded in the inventory would mean the landlord would have to pay for it to be redecorated.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “A rented property is made up not only of contents, but of fixtures and fittings too and these are often the most expensive things to repair. A recent example brings to life the potential costly damage facing landlords with unfurnished properties. A tenant had cut out a large piece from a sitting room carpet where there was a sizeable burn. He then cut carpet from inside a fitted cupboard and placed it in the hole in the sitting room carpet. Fortunately, the AIIC clerk carrying out the check-out inspection had the experience to detect this kind of damage and managed to save the landlord the cost of a new carpet.
“Another recent case featured and landlord’s hand written inventory that consisted of a short list of contents covering just one A4 page. During the six month let the tenants set up a cannabis factory in the garage, causing damage to the structure of the house due to fitting of heating and watering systems. The tenants also wrecked the property, leaving a huge amount of rubbish to be removed. Extensive cleaning, repairs and redecorating needed. However, due to lack of firm evidence of the original condition, the landlord had to cover all these costs himself.”
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