The Association for Independent Inventory Clerks has said that it is launching a campaign aimed at ensuring all parties who are involved in a tenancy thoroughly check their inventory reports within 7 days of receiving them.
The campaign comes following mounting evidence that inventory reports are increasingly being written to suit only one party in a tenancy.
Danny Zane, Chair of the AIIC explains that: “Since the introduction of the tenant fee ban and other challenges to the property sector, we have seen a rise in inventory reports being carried out by parties with stakes in the tenancy, such as Landlords and Agents.” Zane believes these actions are an attempt to generate revenue when other avenues have been cut off. While such actions are not illegal in and of themselves, Zane warns that inventory reports not carried out by an impartial third party are unlikely to work as sufficient evidence in a dispute and are therefore not worth the paper they’re written on.
Since the government and the various tenancy deposit schemes released guidance around inventory reporting this year, the independent inventory is now critical for both tenants and landlords to make sure they are protected prior to the move in and exiting of a tenancy. This way there can be no error in how the tenancy started and ended and where any issues and liabilities lie.
The government’s Ministry For Housing has published: If the property is not left in a fit condition, you can recover the costs associated with returning the property to its original condition and/or carrying out necessary repairs by claiming against the tenancy deposit. You should justify your costs by providing suitable evidence (e.g. an independently produced inventory, receipts and invoices). They advise that it is preferable for an independent person to undertake check in and check out reports (e.g. a specialist inventory clerk).
Zane is concerned and advises all those involved in a tenancy that caution must be taken, not all inventories are there to protect both parties. The landlord, agent or tenant can still legally compile reports and as yet no one has to state if there is a connection to the property via the party that has compiled the report.
Our member clerks at The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks carry out extensive and forensically thorough reports to make sure that every aspect within a property is recorded and there can be no error when the tenants get to the end of their tenancy agreements. David Cox the CEO for PropertyMark stated “The sector must not underestimate the importance of a thorough inventory".
Zane advises tenants, landlords and agents to:
1: Thoroughly check their inventory reports while standing in the property within 7 days of its compilation.
2: Once the content of the report has been checked put any queries or comments in writing as soon as possible
3: Make sure you know who has carried out your inventory report and any connection they have to your tenancy, and don’t be afraid to refuse the first person offered.
4: Above all, Zane maintains: “look out for the AIIC logo or use our safe clerk listing to find a suitable inventory clerk that has no interest in the property, owner or tenant. Our clerks offer the level of protection most would assume a detailed inventory report offers”.