With landlords continuing to come off on the wrong side of tenant deposit disputes, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks have told landlords to shore up their claims.
During the fifth year of the Deposit Protection Service, only 16% of claims were given in the landlord’s favour. The AIIC believe this would change if landlords were better prepared, they’ve put together a checklist in a bid to turn the tide:- Continue reading Landlords still not getting the inventory right
Being mid-November, the Christmas warnings are well on their way. The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has put together guidelines for how landlords can avoid problems and save money.
The AIIC has told landlords to beware of water damage as tenants attempt to save money themselves on heating bills. They believe tenants should be made aware of the risks of turning the heating off if they’re going away for Christmas. Continue reading AIIC Serve up a Winter Warning
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has once again warned buy to let landlords to conduct inventories properly, even for unfurnished properties.
They say it’s not just the ‘loose’ contents that need protecting with an inventory but carpets, bathrooms and even walls and cupboards. Worktop chips and scratches should be recorded in the inventory, as with windows and frames.
Obvious as it may seem, AIIC say wall colour should be recorded along with condition. A tenant changing the colour without it previously being recorded in the inventory would mean the landlord would have to pay for it to be redecorated.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “A rented property is made up not only of contents, but of fixtures and fittings too and these are often the most expensive things to repair. A recent example brings to life the potential costly damage facing landlords with unfurnished properties. A tenant had cut out a large piece from a sitting room carpet where there was a sizeable burn. He then cut carpet from inside a fitted cupboard and placed it in the hole in the sitting room carpet. Fortunately, the AIIC clerk carrying out the check-out inspection had the experience to detect this kind of damage and managed to save the landlord the cost of a new carpet.
“Another recent case featured and landlord’s hand written inventory that consisted of a short list of contents covering just one A4 page. During the six month let the tenants set up a cannabis factory in the garage, causing damage to the structure of the house due to fitting of heating and watering systems. The tenants also wrecked the property, leaving a huge amount of rubbish to be removed. Extensive cleaning, repairs and redecorating needed. However, due to lack of firm evidence of the original condition, the landlord had to cover all these costs himself.”
- Doors and walls – Damage/holes from impact, walls – nail and screw holes, drilled cable holes, impact indents from door handles, general excessive dirt and marks,
- Panting and redecoration – Tenants repainting without permission in outrageous colours. Often redecoration is required before the property can be let again
- Carpets – Stains, burns, tears, sometimes whole sections cut out due to tenant damage and replaced with off cuts of a similar carpet found inside cupboards or wardrobes
- Light fittings – Tenants take bulbs and lampshades, sometimes whole fittings and the bare wires are hanging from the ceiling
- Kitchen worktops – Damage, burns to worktops, knife marks in worktops and chips
- Kitchen appliances – Damage to ceramic hobs, one recently was cracked right across, fortunately the inventory was professionally compiled and the tenant was made to pay for a new hob. Broken shelves in fridges, damage to washing machines and dish washers
- Bathrooms – Cracks in sinks toilets and baths – bathroom suites are very expensive to replace and sometimes hard to match when replacing only one item
- Windows – Common damage are chips and cracks, broken window fittings
- Gardens – If the condition is not clear at time of check in, gardening is very expensive – £20 per hour is normal – and the landlord, without any firm evidence, will be picking up the bill. Every area of a garden needs to be listed on an inventory, not just the grass, but the condition of the borders, weedy or not, patio – weedy, mossy, stained etc. Loose or broken flagstones – as always detail is needed to be able to judge what additional damage has occurred
- Cleaning – if the inventory does not categorically state the cleaning condition of every area, then the landlord will be stuck with the cleaning bill after the check-out
"Over 1,000 disputes in three months prompts AIIC to offer advice"
After another bad few months for landlords in tenant disputes, the AIIC have issued more tips to help landlords in adjudications.
According to The Deposit Protection Scheme’s findings, June 1st to August 19th saw over 1,000 disputes with 60% due to damage to property. Cleaning costs played a part in 40% of the disputes and redecorating in 31%. Many disputes cited more than one reason, cleaning costs incurred due to damage for example creating the skewed figures. Continue reading Disputes Still Favour Tenants According to DPS
"AIIC have offered advice to reduce the risk of disputes"
After receiving the highest number of complaints against letting agents for 20 years, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks have issued advice for landlords, tenants and letting agents to combat problems.
The AIIC say letting agents are often stuck in the middle of tenant and landlord disputes, but admit a tenant’s life could be made easier. Poorly maintained houses as well as contracts with unfair clauses often lead to disputes, for example. Poor communication and lack of inventory also create problems.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “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.”
Pat Barber, Chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), explains how wear and tear disputes between landlords and tenants could be avoided by using independent property inventory clerks. Continue reading Wear and tear disputes with tenants could be avoided say Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC)