The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has moved to express concern over the lack of tenants signing inventories at the start of their agreement.
Recently, a report from money.co.uk revealed that 79% of student tenants do not sign an inventory when they enter a new property.
In addition, 40% of the 1,000 tenants surveyed claimed they had lost more than a third of their deposit while renting at university.
The AIIC feels that there is a direct relationship between these figures and if more tenants checked and signed inventories, there would be less deposit deductions.
It is vitally important for landlords to provide their tenants with a detailed inventory at the beginning of their tenancy agreement. These should include clear photographs, a list of amenities included and fixtures and fittings.
Above all, landlords should take the opportunity to use inventories to give a clear and concise indication of the condition and contents of their investment property. In fact, inventories are just as important as taking out a solid landlord insurance policy!
Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, noted: ‘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 being 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,’ she continued.
Concluding, Barber said, ‘For these reasons, professional inventories which incorporate photo evidence can help to minimise the chances of a deposit dispute.’