The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) claims that the topic of inventories in the property industry is one that requires more attention.
Although the lettings industry is renowned for being financially rewarding in the long term, those who do not put the right processes in place could in fact end up accruing unnecessary costs.
The AIIC argues that although inventories are not yet compulsory in the property industry, they are a necessary protective measure that the letting industry ought to rely on and get professionally done.
The false narrative surrounding inventories
Inventories allow letting agents and landlords to keep a close eye on every aspect of their property investment. These detailed records hold long-term value because they are an essential preventative measure that circumvents money from being wasted further down the line.
Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC and recently re-elected to serve again, explains: “One of the most damaging and widespread narratives in the property industry is that by not having an inventory carried out, you will save money.”
“In reality, no inventory means no financial safeguard. Without this essential record of the state of the property and its contents, landlords put themselves at risk of losing hefty sums of money.
He added: “In the property industry, the way to save money is not by being frugal, but by understanding the legal requirements needed to let a home and making sure that these are covered in the safest possible way. Inventories provide all parties with exactly this.”
“Of course, not paying for a service means you save some change in the short term, but this decision is likely to be detrimental to the future of the let in the long-term.”
Save money with the help of a professional
Landlords and letting agents have a range of responsibilities they must adhere to. Therefore, those who make the decision to conduct inventories themselves are less likely to produce a meaningful inventory.
Evans continues: “Too often landlords underestimate the skill that is required to carry out an inventory. They end up missing out vital details and the inventory does not protect them. The fact of the matter is agents and landlords without the essential inventory training and experience are unable to conduct an accurate and in-depth inventory.”
“Large sums of money can be saved with the help of a vigilant and diligent inventory clerk. By contrast, doing the inventory yourself can cost more in the future. It can even be as bad as not doing one at all as an inaccurate inventory is unlikely to protect any party during a court ruling.”
“When you have a robust inventory, you will know exactly how the property was at the start of the tenancy and an unbiased comparison of how it is at the end can be made.”
“When deposit disputes arise, landlords must successfully prove that losses and damage occurred during the tenancy to recover any costs. A trained inventory clerk will provide accurate descriptions and time and date stamped photographs that support this.”
“The record of the walls, floor, fixtures, fittings, and items in the home will be so detailed they can only lead to an unbiased result.”
“Furthermore, during a time where rental reform is a top priority, landlords and letting agents need to ensure their homes meet the industry standard more than ever. Professional inventories can make letting agents and landlords remain confident even when deposit disputes arise. They are the only pieces of evidence presented to the adjudicators that ensure they award funds in a fair and unbiased way.”