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
My first intentional property investment part 4 – “My first Property Management Checklist“
In the last instalment of the story of my first intentional property investment I promised to share with you the first property management check list I put together, it wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than nothing. If you want to catch up on the other stories in this series please see my Landlords Log.
Having agreed to buy my first intentional property investment I soon realised that it’s a bit like a visit to the loo, paperwork is important!
I’d purchased my first home a few years before but to be honest I’d forgotten about all the paperwork I’d done at that time. All of a sudden it all came flooding back to me. I wonder if women go through something similar when they give birth to their second child? Never say never again!!! Continue reading Part two of the story of my first intentional property investment
If you ask 2 different letting agents how they do inventories and condition reports, you’ll probably get 3 different answers.
The systems in place range on one extreme from None! by many landlords to carrying out detailed reports with lots of photos and notes. Continue reading Inventories, the easy way
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. Continue reading Pictures aren’t worth a thousand words say AIIC
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
Landlords are seeing a rising amount of deposit disputes over the cleaning of properties according to The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
They say 40% of all tenancy deposit disputes involve some sort of cleaning cost. They also claim tenants don’t see cleaning costs as anything more than “fair wear and tear”, hence the disputes. Continue reading Cleaning Costs are Adding Up
You can reference tenants, you can use your own judgement to select ones you think you can trust and you can be a good honest considerate landlord, but there is still no guarantee they will treat your property with respect.
If you have not experienced any issues with tenants damaging your property then you are very lucky. As a landlord myself I have had my share of bad tenants but am regularly horrified at some of the checkout videos I see back from our inventory clerks. Perhaps I am too emotional about the subject, but I really feel that some of these tenants should be prosecuted for criminal damage rather than just forfeiting their deposit. Continue reading Warning: Upsetting Footage For Landlords
There have been some really interesting comments on the EU Trying To Kill Buy To Let – sign the petition to STOP it now. blog and it is great to see some new people contributing to this important discussion but I am feeling a bit frivolous at the moment and I thought that I would post on a lighter subject.
According to MyDeposits one of the main reasons that landlords stop money from a tenants deposit is to cover the cost of cleaning. This is interesting because I would have thought that damages might have come above cleaning. Continue reading Frivolous it might be but I don’t fall out with my tenants because…..
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
Prior to the introduction of the TDPS in 2007 a landlord could choose not to prepare an inventory for his property (and most did choose not to) or, alternatively, the inventory prepared was extremely basic. However, if a landlord now wishes to protect his property, he absolutely must ensure that a complete and thorough inventory is prepared and that the tenant has signed the inventory to confirm they have accepted it.
Landlord/tenant disputes at the end of a tenancy are becoming increasingly common as tenants are recognising that the pendulum has swung firmly in their favour. 92% of disputed cases are in fact being found in favour of the tenant.
So how does a landlord prepare a proper inventory? Continue reading Why landlords need an inventory and how to do it
The video inventory agency will help in disputes
Landlords and tenants who find themselves disagreeing over property inventories now have a foolproof way of settling disputes – high definition video evidence.
Video inventories act as visual support to a written inventory and can be used at all parts of a tenancy agreement: the start (the property’s contents, state of repair and meter readings); the interim (ensuring both parties are meeting their obligations); and, of course at the end (when any claims against the rental deposit will be made). Continue reading Why Video Provides Landlord With The Best Protection
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
According 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. Continue reading Is a picture really worth a thousand words in property inventories?
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)
Sequel to Frazer Fearnhead’s popular Guest Blog
It’s amazing what you uncover upon conducting a check out inspection. Below are the top 7 nightmare cases inventory agents from The Video Inventory Agency have discovered.
Continue reading Tenants from Hell (Part 2). Every Landlord’s Nightmare
It’s the situation every landlord dreads. You do the usual checks, the tenants seem like nice reasonable people but 6 or 12 months later they have trashed your property……..and if you haven’t got a professional inventory and supporting evidence such as photos (or even better) a video you have no hope of keeping the deposit. In fact, even if it is obvious to all that the tenant is responsible for the damage, literally all they have to say is “it was like that when I moved in”. The adjudication bodies regard the deposit as the tenant’s money and so if you cannot prove otherwise you will not be awarded any damages. Continue reading Tenants from Hell. Every Landlord’s Nightmare
Part 2 of a 2 part series. Read part one here
With over 23,500 deposit disputes last year year – a figure that is set to increase as tenants become more aware of their rights – it has never been more important to have a professional (and independent) inventory. Continue reading 5 more common reasons why inventories fail at adjudication
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is warning all landlords and management companies to check each rental property thoroughly for signs of common damage, which can often be missed at check out, costing landlords hundreds of pounds. Continue reading Check your rental properties for common damages warns AIIC
Part 1 of a 2 part series.
With over 23,500 deposit disputes last year – a figure that is set to increase as tenants become more aware of their rights – it has never been more important to have a professional (and independent) inventory.
Continue reading Common reasons why inventories fail at adjudication