"Rental relationships can be complicated and the more transient nature of the letting sector increases the scope for disharmony between tenants, landlords and letting agents"
Industry trade body the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says it is not surprised that the majority of complaints made to The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) in 2016 related to the letting industry.
In August, The PRS published its annual report which shows a 40% increase in complaints made last year compared to 2015. The organisation also revealed that over 85% of complaints it received were either made by tenants (51%) or landlords (35%).
Property management (29%), deposits (27%) and problems with rent (15%) were the most common complaints received by the redress scheme last year.
The AIIC says that the complicated nature of the letting process alongside an increase in legislation could be responsible for the high proportion of rental sector complaints.
According to The PRS, the overall rise in complaints is partly down to its membership growth, but partly down to a heightened public awareness of the formal complaints procedure - a sentiment echoed by the AIIC.
Danny Zane, Joint Chair of the AIIC, said: "Here at the AIIC we were not surprised to see that the vast majority of complaints received by The PRS in 2016 were made either by landlords or tenants.
Rental relationships can be complicated and the more transient nature of the letting sector increases the scope for disharmony between tenants, landlords and letting agents."
In recent years, agents, landlords and even tenants have been required to jump through more legislative hoops and so there is now more potential for things to go wrong and, put simply, more things to complain about," adds Danny Zane, who is also Managing Director of My Property Inventories.
Deposit problems were one of the most common complaints made last year and the AIIC says that if more agents and landlords provided professionally compiled independent inventories then the number of complaints relating to deposits could be reduced.
Emma Glencross, Joint Chair of the AIIC, comments: “An impartial and professional inventory comprehensively details the condition and contents of the property at the start and end of the tenancy.
They help to reduce disputes at the end of a tenancy as landlords can make fair and legitimate deposit deductions, while showing tenants exactly what they are being charged for.”
Danny concludes: "That's why we're of the long-standing viewpoint that independent, professionally compiled inventories should be made compulsory by the Government.”
If all parties provided independently compiled professional inventories to a uniform standard then there would be fewer complaints relating to deposits."