For most reasonable landlords and letting agents, the idea of letting out a property without a deposit seems unfathomable and outright stupid. Handing the keys to a new tenant without any money on account for damages leaves a landlord and thier most valuable asset at risk and vulnerable.
Daniel Zane, Chair of the AIIC (Association for Independent Inventory Clerks) stresses that this is exactly what happens when a new tenancy is not accompanied by an independently compiled inventory report carried out by a professional, impartial inventory clerk.
Zane suggests that letting a property without an independent inventory report in place is no different to handing the keys to a stranger without any deposit in place. When inventory reports are not in place at the start of tenancy’s, if there is a need for deductions at the end of the tenancy there will be absolutely no proof to back up the deductions required. Without independent inventory reports, landlords are out in the dark and have to rely on luck with regards to the reliability of an individual tenant and their willingness to put right any damages, leaving the landlord with little to no control over the condition of their property.
Zane is clear that an inventory report must be carried out by an independent third-party inventory clerk in order to carry any weight in a tenancy dispute and therefore ensure the recovery of costs for a landlord. Zane explains that many landlords are unaware that an independent, professionally compiled inventory report will costs as little at £1.50 per week over the course of a 12-month tenancy agreement, which is a small cost when compared to the savings it can ensure. With years of experience in the lettings industry, Zane is constantly amazed by the number of landlords that still embark on new tenancies without such assurances in place, putting their finances and their properties at risk.
The AIIC regulates all independent inventory clerks in the UK, ensuring that the inventories landlords commission from an AIIC regulated inventory clerk are both impartial and thorough and act to protect the landlord's investment and the integrity of the tenancy.