Novice landlords need to get inventory correct to avoid disputes

The AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks) has warned all novice landlords that they are at risk of deposit disputes if they fail to prepare all the correct paperwork.

There has been a massive increase in the number of accidental landlords over the last couple of years as many home owners are forced into renting their property due to various circumstances that range from negative equity to the depressed housing market and even couples getting divorced. It is this sort of landlord, who often moves into the sector without any background knowledge, that struggles to manage the basic legal requirements demanded of landlords today.

The AIIC feel that many new landlords have unrealistic expectations on wear and tear damage, which ultimately leads to tenant disputes. New landlords have to remember that reasonable wear and tear damage to a property needs to be accepted as part of the rental agreement. It is vital for every private landlord to have a detailed and accurate inventory to show the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, this makes it easy to assess whether the condition of the property is consistent. An independent inventory means both parties will be treated fairly and disputes can be resolved quicker and without the hassle that is often experienced at the end of a tenancy period.

Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said “In addition to having a tenancy agreement, it’s important that accidental landlords ensure all formal agreements and procedures are in place, such as a professional inventory and schedule of condition. Landlords and tenants have different expectations when it comes to fair wear and tear issues, so it is no wonder that so many tenancies end in dispute. Landlords cannot expect ‘new for old’ when something is damaged, as everything has an expectancy of useful life and will need to be replaced periodically at the landlord’s expense.”

The AIIC is offering a new one-day workshop for all landlords on Monday 26 November from 9.30am to 4.30pm at The Hilton, Bracknell and topics include handling tenants in difficult situations, how to avoid disputes, landlord insurance and finding hidden damage at the end of a tenancy.

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