11:10 AM, 5th April 2023, About 11 months ago 2
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is calling on the government to include measures in the proposed Renters Reform Bill to guarantee independence and more transparency in the inventory process.
Daniel Evans, the chair of the AIIC, says there is ‘a significant number of property companies large and small that own their own inventory firms’.
He said: “In those circumstances, it’s very difficult for the process to be seen to be independent.
“Commercially, lettings agents are there to look after the interests of the landlords, especially in a market suffering massive stock shortages.
“How can tenants then have faith in a system that might be seen to be biased?”
He is now calling for the issue to be part of the Renters Reform Bill so that inventories are carried out by qualified, independent inventory clerks.
Mr Evans said: “Inventory companies have the capability of being the only truly independent agencies operating in the lettings process.
“In the event of a dispute, the inventory will act as valuable evidence to offer to the deposit protection scheme provider and enables a fair decision to be made in the adjudication process.
“But if this process is going to have credibility for the tenant as well as the landlord, that inventory must be curated by an independent agency.”
He continued: “It’s not difficult to do a bad inventory at the beginning of a tenancy and a good one at the end.
“The only people that suffer are the tenants and the credibility of the tenancy process.”
He says there is a growing number of inventory firms in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) with ownership links to large and small property companies.
Mr Evans said: “I think this all began during the financial crash of 2008 when the entire market crashed and firms were looking to increase revenue by any means at their disposal, and when the importance of inventories was being fundamentally established.
“Since then, and with the advancement of technology and digital developments, this has become a growing trend and the process has become less transparent as a result.”