Getting a professional inventory done may seem time consuming to create, but to not have one could be a false economy for landlords.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) argues inventories, although not yet compulsory, are a necessary protective measure that can ultimately be financially beneficial.
In fact, far from saving a landlord money, in reality no inventory means no financial safeguard and without it, landlords put themselves at risk of losing large sums of money.
The AIIC says inventories play a crucial role in the smooth running of day-to-day tenancies and will play an even bigger role when the planned rental reform comes into force.
It outlines three ways in which inventories are an essential piece of landlords’ kit.
Firstly, by using the services of a professional inventory company, landlords and agents can save themselves a lot of money further down the line in potentially costly disputes. The inventory must be carried out in the right way otherwise deposit disputes can become more likely and make the chances of getting a deposit back less likely.
Having a clear, concise, professionally compiled inventory will help prevent or lessen the chances of deposit disputes occurring in the first place.
For landlords, agents and tenants it provides written and photographic evidence should any dispute occur such as damage to the property.
Secondly inventories can also help save time – whether this is time and energy wasted on deposit disputes, or time carried out making repairs, or the time between tenancies themselves. It allows for smooth check in and check out processes, potentially reducing the void periods.
Lastly, inventories are there to resolve problems by making clear – with written, video and photographic evidence – who has or hasn’t caused damage, or whether any items either inside or outside the property, have gone missing. They can also reduce stress which is inevitable if there is a dispute.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s lettings manager Josh Jones said: “We would always encourage our landlords to get a professionally constructed and full inventory done at the start of each tenancy.
“As the AIIC states, they are invaluable to both landlords and tenants, and can help prevent stressful situations occurring and also added financial burdens, and we would endorse the points made.
“Including photography and video alongside the clear, concise and full document offers extra protection to both parties and we would urge landlords to have this belt and braces approach.
“If landlords need any further information or advice please do pop into one of our offices as we would be glad to help.”