Inventories – should landlords get what they pay for?

by Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, MARLA (INV)

10:26 AM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Inventories – should landlords get what they pay for?

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Inventories – should landlords get what they pay for?

Posted in a discussion thread for inventory clerks is an interesting comment that “maybe quick, cheap and maybe enough is what landlords and agents want and deserve from their inventory reports …….” Inventories - should landlords get what they pay for

This has a hit a chord after a long and protracted conversation with an agent regarding what a landlord really wants from a report.

It definitely seems to be first and foremost about cost (the lower the better; free has even been muted by one landlord!) however we have also found that (some) landlords attempt to deflect away from the issues in their properties by asking for less detail (?!) so as not to bring potential problematic issues to the attention of their new occupants but in the very same breath then want tenants to pay for every last mark, scuff, blemish or speck of dust!

Now I can understand both angles as I have been both a previous tenant and landlord, but as a clerk and inventory provider I would argue that if you view a report in the same way as you would evidence in a court of law then the level of detail and accuracy is absolutely paramount and can mean the difference between getting a deposit back intact or being compensated for issues at the end of the tenancy.

I make no apologies for the length of our reports; they describe, signpost and reference the issues as seen because our role as inventory clerks is not to attempt to minimize those issues but to accurately report on what we find backed up with consistently applied objective evidence.

Now if landlords don’t want this level of detail and agents don’t want to pay for what I would consider is a fair rate for the skill provided by the clerk (and or company) then perhaps they should be asking themselves what they really want ……. “quick, cheap and maybe enough” but is this what they (and the tenants) deserve?

Regards

Sian



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:32 AM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Sian

I do understand the landlords dilemma, i.e. they don't like having to shell out another £100 or so at the beginning of the tenancy. However, when damage is done they soon learn that without a proper inventory, the chances of persuading an arbitrator in an Deposit Protection ADR hearing or a judge in a Court of Law to award damages is virtually impossible.

The solution is to use a letting agent who includes inventories in their letting and management fees. I know you do some work for Letting Supermarket and as you will be aware, unless a property is within the M25 they don't charge an up-front fee at all and their ongoing fees are just 4% of rent (minimum £24.99 pcm + VAT).

I produced this checklist for landlords to explain the minimum requirements when letting a property and to showcase what Letting Supermarket do for their money >>> http://www.property118.com/property-management-checklist/67891/
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Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, MARLA (INV)

12:30 PM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "13/10/2014 - 10:32":

Hi Mark; what I was trying to get at was that some (not all) landlords want a high level of detail when it comes to check out but not at the point of inventory. However without one the other is potentially useless…

Great checklist though why only AIIC clerks?

Mark Alexander

12:36 PM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sian Hemming-Metcalfe, MAPIP" at "13/10/2014 - 12:30":

Both good points, I will update my list to include APIP clerks too 🙂
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Ian Ringrose

13:38 PM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

I have yet to see an inventory that truly communicates the state of a property.

It is first impressions that effect how quickly a property rents, not the number of small marks on walls. But yet “first impressions” cannot be defined in an objective way.

Mark Alexander

13:42 PM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "13/10/2014 - 13:38":

LOL - clearly you've not seen one of Sian's inventories then Ian.

Please take a look at this >>> http://www.property118.com/professional-inventories-for-landlords-the-devil-is-in-the-detail/41995/
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Colin Belton

16:08 PM, 13th October 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "13/10/2014 - 13:38":

Hi Ian, When I owned a letting agency I was passionate about inventories and did them on video. I've written about inventories on my blog. For this thread I think the one about Video Inventories protecting the agent from a bad landlord might be relevant. https://www.rentaljoy.com/blog/tag/inventories/


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