Is a picture really worth a thousand words in property inventories?

Is a picture really worth a thousand words in property inventories?

Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) logoAccording to The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), poor and inadequate photographs are being used in property inventories at both check-in and check-out, leaving landlords exposed to potentially costly disputes with tenants over wear and tear.

More often than not, the photographs submitted in inventories are little larger than thumbnails and hence make it extremely difficult to see detail. To back up a damage issue, photographs need to be a reasonable size so that the damage can be actually seen clearly.

In a recent dispute, a landlord supplied his tenant with a photographic style inventory at check in. Since none of the photographs were dated and no other written evidence was produced, the tenant won his case and the landlord had to fund some expensive replacements.

Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, comments: “Inventory reports should contain a full description of a property and its contents with detail on every bit of damage and its exact location at the start of a tenancy. This can be supported with photographs – but they need to be of a high quality when printed up to A4 or A3 size, so that any damage can be seen clearly.

“Photographs are no substitute for an accurate and properly detailed inventory. A landlord has no evidence to prove that the property has been damaged in any way during the tenancy if he/she has to rely in poor quality, thumbnail photographs and therefore may find it almost impossible to withhold any deposit money from the tenants.”

AIIC has outlined some guidelines for photographs below:
– Ideally, ‘before and after’ photos should be taken with a clear narrative as to what the photo is showing e.g. colours, item description, marks on surfaces
– Photographs should include something to show scale within the photo and they should clearly show the condition of the property at the given time
– Even if the photographs are just to be incorporated in the inventory for reference they need to be a decent size
– Photographs should be dated, with the camera set to automatically put the date on the picture.
– If photographs are going to be printed out the printer used needs to be good quality. Too often cheap printers distort the colour. Even good printers give false colours when cartridges start to run out.

The AIIC is committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process and works hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories.

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8:12 AM, 29th May 2011, About 13 years ago

i find the whole landlord/ letting thing is a disgrace ,we are a country that has not changed its views on property/ rentals since the war ,we still have to many people in jobs where they sit on their back sides with nothing better to do but cause problems for the housing/rental market in the name of the supposed poor and homeless when in realistic terms you can not compare the two and its getting worse ,it does not matter whether you are homeless or poor or have money every one will find their standing because they will have to by this I mean for example if you do not earn or work your standing will determine where you live or get help and the same will go for those who earn will determine where they want to live the problem is peoples attitudes it seems it does not matter where your standing is in life the attitude of people has to change .we find that in all the years of housing we still can not find an answer for determining fair wear and tear not only is there no answer to this it has been made more difficult to address and more costly to prove a point . I actually hired an AIIC clerk to do a checkout for me just to see if I can improve my inventories /checkout/check in process or if I will decide to let a co like this to do the work and I pay for it . The pluses are independence'y, time, professionally laid out ,the negatives ,cost, no guarantee as a landlord you will get fair treatment by those assessing, i personally still have problems with the dealing of what is fair wear and tear in the report i received there are to many areas that are unclear and seems because of this there is a clear stance that landlords are being turned over because they have now brought in this so called betterment a landlord is not entitled to get better ,an example of this person leaves curling tongs on carpet ,tongs leaves its outline on the carpet ,what is the cure ,repair the carpet,renew the carpet ,just make deduction to the value of the carpet .all are correct ,if you can apply any of them in a correct formula but betterment will only allow for a deduction on the value of the carpet , what's wrong with this , the next person comes in and they have to live with it or they decide they do not take the flat because they expect a replacement , I could go on for ever about these things but I think I have made my point the landlord/tenant /inventory thing is going to continue to be a problem for a long time to come its time landlords took a stance on this and I mean landlords not the individual who buys a property keeps it 3 years and gets rid of it because they have made more money than they would have had their money been in a bank these are not landlords , I can assure you landlords have much more to deal with and I suspect most of you that read this will know this .

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