A concerning new report from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has revealed a number of buy-to-let landlords are ignoring tenants’ complaints regarding damp in their property.
Leaving damp problems for a prolonged period will lead to mould and could put properties at an unnecessary and avoidable risk. Some landlord insurance policies will not tolerate negligence.
The AIIC is calling on buy-to-let landlords to act swiftly when any signs of damp or mould are reported, in order to keep their tenants and long-term condition of the property safe.
Condensation is a huge cause of damp, with properties that are not ventilated sufficiently obviously having a higher risk.
Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said, ‘by ignoring improvement notices and complaints from tenants about issues like damp and mould, landlords are putting renters’ safety at risk as well as opening themselves up to receiving a hefty fine.’
‘Landlords should try to deal with damage complaints as quickly as possible, in order to minimise the chances of it escalating into a serious problem,’ she continued.
Importance of inventories
Barber went on to correctly add that buy-to-let investors who deal with any damage quickly will gain more respect and trust from their tenants. This will greatly increase the chance of keeping good quality tenants in the property for longer.
In addition, the AIIC has highlighted the importance of a good inventory when it comes to managing problems with issues such as damp in a property.
A good inventory should include high-quality photographs of all rooms of a property and both of the interior and exterior. These should be backed-up with thorough descriptions, particularly where existing problems have occurred.
This will not only protect landlords and tenants against any discrepancies throughout the agreement but will be vital in the case of a dispute.
Regular inspections are also extremely important through the course of a tenancy, to establish whether issues with mould, damp or other problems have started.