Following reports of tenants signing biased inventory reports carried out by agents or landlords, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is urging the government to bring in mandatory independent inventory checks.
The trade body comments that many tenants are unaware that it is the agent or landlord carrying out the inventory check.
In addition, cases have come to light of tenants being forced to sign biased reports before being allowed their keys – with the tenants mostly unaware that a prejudiced source is behind the inventory report.
However, while the government has brought in legislation for protecting tenants, there is no way it can be monitored.
What is an inventory?
An independent inventory, typically put together by an inventory clerk, documents a property’s condition when the tenancy starts and ends. It should protect renters from unfair deposit deductions, while protecting landlords’ investments too.
It is claimed that wider uptake of independent inventories will ensure fewer deposit disputes, while the documents are invaluable if a dispute between tenant and landlord gets taken up by a deposit protection scheme.
Calls for fairer arrangements
Vice-chairman of the AIIC, Danny Zane, favours independent inventories which protect all sides and reduce the amount of deposit disputes.
The AIIC claims that a third of 2,500 tenants surveyed have had their deposit held back, with 68% considering that their landlord didn’t give an adequate reason for doing so. Meanwhile among students, 40% lost more than a third of their deposit, and 79% did not sign a photo inventory on moving in.
Mr Zane calls for full protection for all parties during letting procedures. He comments that the government’s tenancy deposit scheme ought to have adequate impartial evidence in order to adjudicate sufficiently in the event of a dispute.
Property inventory software, such as that from inventorybase.co.uk can streamline landlords’ administration.
For more information on the issue see https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/government-facing-calls-for-mandatory-independent-inventory-checks-to-protect-tenants-from-biased-reports/.
Goals for the future
Chief executive of No Letting Go Inventory Management, Nick Lyons, said that inventory providers are duty bound to look after both tenants and landlords.
Mr Lyons stated that an obligatory combined compliance report and inventory, put together by independent, trained professionals, should help to ensure that landlords meet their legal obligations. It will also help the government and Trading Standards to police the obligation to look after tenants.