Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
"Why bother with an inventory?" This was a comment spotted online, beneath an article looking at the importance of inventories to landlords and letting agents. It’s a fair question. Unless your tenancy began before 1 June, check-out fees and charges for services such as a professional clean at the end of your tenancy are now banned unless there are good reasons for them.
However, deposits have been capped not outlawed altogether and landlords are still entitled to deduct money at the end of a tenancy if damage has been done. But robust evidence is needed. The Association for Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says, “assessing what constitutes fair wear and tear to a rental home is among the least understood areas of the lettings process, and one which can create much ambiguity and cause the most disputes when a tenancy ends”. Alleged property damage, cleaning and redecoration are among the most common reasons for a dispute between landlords and tenants, the AIIC says. And the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirms that more than 60% of TDS disputes involve cleaning.
So setting a benchmark for cleanliness and the condition of the property and its fixtures and fittings is crucial. That means providing a detailed and accurate inventory. At the start of the tenancy, the tenant should check and sign it off – ideally, says the AIIC, within seven days This should be done again when the tenancy ends To make this easy for our clients and their tenants, at Ringley we have our own app called Quick Inventory. You can just download via the app store – it's as easy as that! And if you would prefer a third party to provide an inventory for you, we have partnered with evolve who will do it on your behalf. Go to www.evolvepartnership.co.uk to find out more. An inventory should include written notes and photographic evidence, as well as details of the contents. If the tenancy ends in a dispute, evidence provided by both the landlord and the tenant will be needed to resolve the problem.
So don’t get caught out – download our app today!
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
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