Therefore, is there an argument that states independent inventories should be compulsory for rental agreements? Adding this service to tenancy agreements would incur a cost, but it could save a lot of time and inconvenience at a later date. Even though landlords and tenants would need to spend more money at the start of the tenancy to arrange this, in the long-term, it will provide confidence and comfort to all parties.
What is fair wear and tear?
After all, is there an agreement of what constitutes “wear and tear“ and whether this is fair or not? This matter has split tenants and landlords since rental agreements began and it is likely it will always be a point where people disagree. However, if there was a formalisation of the process and an independent party was involved, resolutions may be easier to achieve.
When a case goes to an Alternative Dispute Resolution service, the starting point is usually to support the tenant. The landlord is required to offer evidence which details the condition of the letting property at the start of the tenancy and then at the end. If there is an accurate and agreed inventory in place, usually with images, it is much easier to ascertain if damage has occurred in a property.
Landlords can benefit from inventory checks
You would think that landlords would be willing to arrange for this work to be undertaken at the beginning of a tenancy. After all, if a landlord presents a property in fantastic condition, they should be confident that any damage caused can be seen by the use of images and independent findings. There may be an argument for a landlord to pay for this service themselves, but if the tenant isn’t involved, the tenant could claim collusion between the landlord and inventory professional.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), a regulatory trade body with more than 850 members across the country, wants the Government to make independent inventories compulsory. This body has a commercial reason to make this claim, but the industry as a whole may benefit if this change occurs.
Danny Zane is the Joint Chair of the AIIC, who released a statement, saying; “In the past, politicians have been quick to praise the success of compulsory deposit protection – introduced in 2007. But if there is no unbiased inventory detailing the condition of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy, then all this good work is undermined, and it could be argued that taking deposits and protecting them is essentially rendered pointless.”
“Landlords and letting agents should not be compiling what can very easily be considered as biased inventory reports that tenants must sign before getting access to their new home. An unbiased and independently compiled inventory can save both tenants and landlords money, ensuring a fair move-in/move-out process for all parties.”
At Holmes Estate Agents, we know the challenges landlords face. If you need guidance or assistance in letting property, contact us, and we will be more than happy to assist you.