Property damage is becoming a growing problem for landlords and letting agents, according to the latest data from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), now accounting for 52% of all deposit disputes and up by 29% over the last four years.
Property damage can cause severe financial loss for landlords. Imfuna, the developer of digital inventory app Imfuna Let, recalls a story from June 2016 whereby a landlord was faced with a £10,000 bill covering loss of rent, refurbishment and legal costs after his tenants trashed the property. The landlord’s three-bedroom maisonette in Plymouth was littered with rubbish and faeces, had extensive mould in the kitchen cupboards, damp and pet damage.
The Founder and CEO of Imfuna, Jax Kneppers, comments: “It is so important for landlords and agents to make regular property inspections so that they can identify problem tenants early. Even if tenants have been thoroughly vetted before taking the property on, it is still vitally important to record the condition of the property before the tenancy begins.
“During a periodic inspection, any issues or problems with the property can be discussed openly and transparently. Tenants can be shown photos of the property before the tenancy started, then compare them with the property’s current condition. Very often, it is floors that receive the most damage, followed by doors, skirting and window frames, and kitchen worktops and cupboard doors.”
Our guide to periodic inspections will ensure that you effectively prevent property damage by your tenants: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/landlords-guide-periodic-inspections/
Howard Lester, the Director of Balgores Property Group, says: “We conduct regular inspections on the properties we manage for landlords and have found it has reduced the number of tenant disputes by 42%. We are able to identify any property damage early on and can have discussions with the tenants to resolve issues. Pet damage is a growing problem, and we have been able to quickly identify tenants that are breaking the terms of their lease by thorough, regular inspections.”
He adds: “It is also important to ensure that tenants are present at check-out. This will help resolve any potential dispute, as the tenants can be shown pictures of the property’s condition at the start and end of the tenancy.”
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