Pictures aren’t worth a thousand words say AIIC

by Property118.com News Team

10:17 AM, 28th March 2012
About 7 years ago

Pictures aren’t worth a thousand words say AIIC

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Pictures aren’t worth a thousand words say AIIC

Pictures are great, but there’s no substitute for a good description when it comes to inventories according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

The before and after photos that fill inventories should always be accompanied by a “clear narrative as to what the photo is showing”. Photos, they say, are mainly for reference and should be dated.

The date is especially important; a landlord recently lost a dispute because the photograph inventory he provided his tenant with did not include a date or detail description.

The quality of the pictures and video needs to be high too since the detail isn’t always visible.

Pat Barber, Chair of The AIIC, explained: “We want landlords and agents to be better informed in the event of a dispute, that means providing quality evidence to substantiate their claims for withholding the deposit.

“The law clearly states that the deposit remains the tenant’s money and that they are entitled to get it back at the end of their stay, provided they have met the terms of the tenancy agreement, so the onus lies with the agent or landlord to provide proof.

“We have seen some excellent inventories with the right balance of detail, supported by photography and video. But, 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, along with a detailed description, any photographs need to be of a reasonable size, so that the damage can be actually seen clearly. A glossy inventory that relies heavily on photographs will be of little use in a dispute.”



Comments

Glenn Ackroyd

8:48 AM, 29th March 2012
About 7 years ago

We have moved to Imfuna for our inventories. It is an Iphone App that takes pictures which are timestamped and geotagged. In addition, you can verbally dictate notes which are automatically transcribed. You get 5 free reports, so private landlords can take advantage.

Mark Alexander

8:52 AM, 29th March 2012
About 7 years ago

I've been hearing a lot about this product Glenn, your endorsement carries a lot of weight.

10:38 AM, 29th March 2012
About 7 years ago

Inventories are the lifeblood of a tenancy agreement.  But Landlords do not seem to value them enough imho.  They are a bit like insurance, you only realise the value when you need them i.e. deposit dispute ... and then they are worth their weight in gold!

In the past, inventories have been very fragmented ... paper, photos, videos etc.

Now thanks to digital, they can be de-fragmented and all data kept in one place and printed out as a complete and detailed report, with date and time stamps on photos etc.  This highly transparent method is healthy for everyone ... the landlord, the tenant, the lettings agent ... as there can be no misunderstandings.

I agree with Glenn that Imfuna is a brilliant app and should become the standard inventory supplier as it "curates" all the info together and date stamps it.  The dication tool also allows you to create detailed descriptions of properties which can also be called upon in a dispute.

For what industry leaders think about the importance of the inventory, have a look at Imfuna's video channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Imfuna

Mary Latham

19:48 PM, 29th March 2012
About 7 years ago

 

 Eddie Hooker CEO of MyDeposits  takes a different view he says

“Accessibility to inventory management is probably the key
and the advent of digital inventories, embedding
the photographs within the inventory is all going to help. It’s about raising
standards and inventories show that the landlord and the agent are working in a
much more professional way.

In a dispute it’s about the
landlord putting his case and a well put together inventory will point the adjudicator
to make the right decision about who should get the deposit.”

MyDeposits are issuing new
guidance to landlords and agents all the time because they see where landlords
are failing to make their case and lose their claims.  The onus of proof is on the landlord and, in
my opinion, anything that helps to remove the doubt from an adjudicators mind
is worth including. If Eddie Hooker says that digital inventories help our case
that is good enough for me. After all  it
is the deposit protection schemes that actually see what is happening and have
no vested interest in how a landlord presents his case.

Landlords need to choose
the evidence that they present very carefully, not overkill but just giving
enough evidence to convince a reasonable person that they have a valid claim.

“Accessibility to inventory management is probably the key
and the advent of digital inventories, embedding
the photographs within the inventory is all going to help. It’s about raising
standards and inventories show that the landlord and the agent are working in a
much more professional way.

In a dispute it’s about the
landlord putting his case and a well put together inventory will point the adjudicator
to make the right decision about who should get the deposit.”

MyDeposits are issuing new
guidance to landlords and agents all the time because they see where landlords
are failing to make their case and lose their claims.  The onus of proof is on the landlord and, in
my opinion, anything that helps to remove the doubt from an adjudicators mind
is worth including. If Eddie Hooker says that digital inventories help our case
that is good enough for me. After all  it
is the deposit protection schemes that actually see what is happening and have
no vested interest in how a landlord presents his case.

Landlords need to choose
the evidence that they present very carefully, not overkill but just giving
enough evidence to convince a reasonable person that they have a valid claim.


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