Landlords are losing cases when tenants complain about non-return of deposits because they are failing to take good property inventories.
Most landlord inventories fail to stand up in court or dispute resolution, argues the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The AIIC slams landlords for inventory failures and suggests they should employ professional inventory clerks at property handovers. Continue reading Necessity is the Mother of Inventories
I am writing this blog to balance out another article on this website and to raise a question about whether it is reasonable for a business to be exposed to a trial by social media.
Is it even possible that a group formed on Facebook could muster up enough support to potentially bring an established business to its knees without a fair trial? Until this week I would have thought not but I have evidence that it is happening right now. Continue reading Letting Agent Ripped Apart by Social Media
One thing I have learned from our experiences working with letting agents around the country is that they operate in many different ways. That’s not just between different agencies but also between different offices within the same company. Here in Altrincham, Cheshire, for example, they tend to operate in a very different way from letting agents just a few miles away in Manchester city centre.
Although Altrincham is an affluent area, it is extremely competitive and agents need to include inventory costs within their fee structure, whereas in the city centre, agents tend to charge landlords £100-£120 in addition to the standard fees (although the inventory costs are usually absorbed by the agent if the property is being fully managed). Continue reading Should Landlords Pay For An Inventory?
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
The Tenant Deposit Scheme recently released shocking figures showing that only 19 per cent of disputes over tenants’ deposits are won by landlords. This statistic could be vastly improved if landlords better protected themselves at the start, during, and at the end of a tenancy agreement, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC). Continue reading How landlords can improve their chances in a dispute
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has announced a new course for July aimed at new and inexperienced clerks called “Guidelines for Inventory Clerks”. The course is also open to those who are interested in becoming an inventory clerk as well as Associate Members, colleagues or landlords. Continue reading AIIC announce Inventory Clerk training course
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)