18:00 PM, 1st October 2012, About 10 years ago 1
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is warning landlords that they are exposing themselves to a greater risk of deposit disputes if they carry out their own inventories.
This is supported by recent research which shows that half of landlords have experienced a dispute over the return of the deposit when their tenant comes to move out, with 88 per cent saying the most common grievance is cleanliness. (Source: Total Landlord Insurance, August 2012).
In addition to having a tenancy agreement, the importance of ensuring other formal agreements and procedures are in place, such as an inventory and schedule of condition, have been highlighted.
The perception that inventories are an expensive procedure is thought to be the deterrent for many landlords who choose to carry out their own. In fact, the average cost for a 2 bedroomed furnished property is approximately £70 and interestingly, results found that 65 per cent of landlords recognise that an inventory is the most important form of evidence in the event of a dispute.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC comments: “It is vital for landlords and agents to ensure they have ongoing dialogue with tenants and that they get all the paperwork right at the start and at the end of a new tenancy agreement.
“Aside from ensuring there is a fair contract in place at the start of a tenancy agreement, landlords should have a professional and detailed inventory which will enable both parties to be treated fairly and reasonably. By opening a dialogue and using an independent inventory clerk, disputes can be resolved quicker and without the hassle that is often experienced at the end of a tenancy period.
“Many tenants fail to leave their property in the same condition at check-out and are often very surprised when they are told that professional cleaning is required. Tenants rarely treat their rented property in the same way as they would a property they owned themselves. Unfortunately accidents do happen during a tenancy and tenants need to realise that they must take financial responsibility for things that are beyond normal wear and tear.
“Landlords and tenants need to recognise that inventories and check-in/check-out reports are of equal advantage to landlords and tenant. They aid communication at the end of the tenancy and help settle disputes and reduce the chance of a formal dispute through a tenancy deposit protection scheme.”
“Having an impartial and qualified inventory clerk carry this out means there is less opportunity for either party to dispute the documentation.”
The AIIC is a not for profit membership organisation and is committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process. The AIIC works hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories.
For further information on AIIC, please visit www.theaiic.co.uk.
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