Why are tenants not signing inventories?

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has raised its concern at the apparent lack of tenants signing inventories, drawing attention to an alarming statistic recently published by money.co.uk which suggests that 79% of student tenants do not sign an inventory when they move in.

Related topics:  Landlords
Warren Lewis
1st November 2016

What's more, some 40% of the 1,000 renters surveyed said they have lost over a third of their deposit in the past while privately renting at university.

The AIIC believes there is a direct correlation between these figures and that if more tenants bothered to check and sign inventories, less would be hit with deposit deductions at the end of their tenancy.

Detailed inventories, which should also include a number of photographs, provide both landlords and tenants with the opportunity to strengthen their documentation and give a clearer indication of the condition and contents of their property.

Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: "A signed and agreed complete inventory should be a minimum requirement at the beginning of a tenancy. Although these figures cover student tenancies, it would be no surprise to learn that a high proportion of regular renters enter into a contract without an inventory having been compiled."

An inventory is there to help landlords determine the condition of their rental property at the end of a contract so that a fair comparison can be made with the condition at the start of the tenancy. Furthermore, it can help tenants to make sure that they leave the property in the requisite state in order to receive their damage deposit back in full.

"For these reasons, professional inventories which incorporate photo evidence can help to minimise the chances of a deposit dispute," Barber adds.

She says that in the event that a deposit dispute does occur, the deposit protection scheme's Alternative Dispute Resolution is more likely to look favourably on a case which is accompanied by a professionally and independently compiled inventory and check out report.

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