After a recent report that revealed almost one in four private sector tenants would not tell their landlord if they caused any damage to their rental property, landlords are being urged to make sure they have the correct procedures in place.
This is to ensure that tenants can be reasonably charged for any damage that they may cause to a property.
Importance of inventories
One surefire way to know if tenants have caused any damage to your rental property is to make sure you have a solid inventory in place.
This should be signed and dated at the beginning of an agreement and should include photos of all rooms of the property. Alongside being used as evidence in case of a dispute, a detailed inventory helps to build tenant expectations, while also helping to avoid disagreements.
Patricia Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), observed: ‘While it’s clear that the majority of private tenants do report issues to their landlords, the third that are failing to do so still represents a high proportion and could have financial implication for landlords.’
Apart from compiling an inventory, Barber also reminded landlords to ensure that processes are in place, including referencing and taking/protecting deposits.
Of course, investors should also take out landlord insurance in order to protect their investment.
Barber continued by saying: ‘These three processes can combine to make sure that landlords give themselves the best possible chance to claim money back in the event that a tenant damages their property.’
‘Tenant referencing increases the prospects of securing ‘good’ tenants in the first place, while an inventory provides you with the evidence you need to make a deduction from the tenant’s deposit.’
Concluding, Barber said: ‘Issues that are left unattended for long periods could deteriorate and cost more in the long-run. So, reminding tenants of their responsibility to report problems could certainly save landlords money over the course of a tenancy.’