Currently, there are no obligations on landlords to undertake inventory checks at the start of a tenancy; however, it is always a good idea to clearly lay out the condition of the property and any furnishings early on to avoid potential disputes when the tenancy comes to an end.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has been campaigning for two years to make inventory checks compulsory across the private rented sector. They argue by bringing this into legislation, it would improve professional standards as well as increase protection for landlords, tenants and agents across the board.
Higher Deposits, Higher Risk
If the proposed bans to letting agent fees pushes up rental prices as expected, this will likely push up the value of security deposits tenants are asked to put down for the protection of the landlord’s investments. Naturally, with these larger sums of money in question it is vital for all involved that adequate protection is offered.
Furthermore, case studies have shown that without a proper inventory, it is unlikely that a landlord will be able to recover any of the security deposit to make good any damage to the property or furniture, as the tenant can claim that the damage was already there when the tenancy started.
The burden of proof in these cases is on the landlord to prove that any money they wish to claim out of the security deposit is fair and appropriate to cover the cost of putting right any new damage.
What To Do
Using proper property inventory software ensures that there is a clear and detailed record of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, and landlords should ensure this has been agreed with the tenant before starting the lease.
Companies such as inventorybase.co.uk offer protection to landlords and clients by using the most advanced and sophisticated technology available on the market today to allow landlords to easily create an online, agreed inventory with their tenant. This can be accessed anywhere on a range of different devices.
Even if your tenancy uses a zero deposit scheme, disputes around property damage can still arise when the tenancy comes to an end. Impartial check-ins and check-outs ensure that any security deposit is completely protected with the ability for redress should damage have occurred.