The AIIC (Association for Independent Inventory Clerks) is launching a campaign aimed at ensuring all parties involved in a tenancy thoroughly check their inventory reports within 7 days of receiving them. The AIIC’s campaign comes after evidence has shown that many inventory reports are being written to favour landlords.
Danny Zane, Chair of the AIIC explains that: “Since the introduction of the tenant fee ban and other challenges to the property sector, we have seen a rise in inventory reports being carried out by parties with stakes in the tenancy, such as Landlords and Agents.”
Zane believes that these biased reports are intended to bring in revenue from new sources after old ways such as agency fees have been banned. While such actions are not illegal in and of themselves, Zane warns that inventory reports not carried out by an impartial third party are unlikely to work as sufficient evidence in a dispute and are therefore “not worth the paper they’re written on”.
The government’s Ministry For Housing has published a document stating: “If the property is not left in a fit condition, you can recover the costs associated with returning the property to its original condition and/or carrying out necessary repairs by claiming against the tenancy deposit. You should justify your costs by providing suitable evidence (e.g. an independently produced inventory, receipts and invoices).”
They advise that it is preferable for an independent person to undertake check in and check out reports (e.g. a specialist inventory clerk).
Zane advises tenants and landlords to work together to:
•Thoroughly check their inventory reports while standing in the property within 7 days of its compilation.
•Once the content of the report has been checked put any queries or comments in writing as soon as possible
•Make sure you know who has carried out your inventory report and any connection they have to your tenancy, and don’t be afraid to refuse the first person offered.
•Above all, Zane maintains: “look out for the AIIC logo or use our safe clerk listing to find a suitable inventory clerk that has no interest in the property, owner or tenant. Our clerks offer the level of protection most would assume a detailed inventory report offers”.
Related: Check out Just Landlords’ guide to periodic inspections