The question of why it is necessary to use a professional inventory company is not an uncommon one amongst Landlords and Letting Agents. For the less seasoned landlord or those lucky enough to have always been blessed with good tenants thus far, it can be hard to see why you can’t just ‘write a list’ and ask your tenants to sign it.
However, inventory companies don’t just jot down a list of the items at your property. A professional inventory clerk is trained to create a thorough report, knowing what to look for, what to include and how to describe it, which they should then back up with lots of accurate photographs.
The other advantage of a professional report is that it provides an independent opinion on the condition of your property so, in the case of a dispute you can’t be judged as being biased, meaning you and your investment are fully protected.
Evidence is everything
Since the Tenancy Deposit Scheme was introduced to all properties after 6th April 2007, Landlords cannot simply retain a deposit or any part of it without giving explicit and clear written reasons for doing so. There are many reasons why a landlord may need to make deductions from a tenant’s deposit and this is where the importance of a thorough inventory comes into its own, as a check-out report is compared against the inventory check in.
The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) advise landlords to use independent inventory providers. Without proper evidence, a landlord cannot claim and will lose at an adjudication as proper evidence is required beyond a simple list of items. Their research shows that only 18% of claims by landlords win 100% and this is due to not having proper evidence.
“Landlords are less likely to win monies from deposits due to not having a proper inventory.”
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Although a deposit dispute may seem like something you won’t have to worry about until the end of a tenancy, the best way to avoid a lengthy battle with tenants at the end is to be prepared at the start. Employing the services of a professional inventory company can save you time and money in the case of a deposit dispute as well as providing an impartial voice to back up your claims.
“Ideally, you should get the initial inventory done by a specialist company. It is a very time-consuming business doing it yourself, plus adjudicators may consider that you are biased.”
What if my property is Unfurnished?
While you may think it wouldn’t be necessary to carry out an inventory report on an unfurnished property, the inventory actually protects the hard furnishings too e.g. appliances, bathroom fittings, floor coverings – all of which are expensive if damaged. Without an inventory you cannot claim if the tenant damages them.
Invest Now, Save Later
A major benefit of a professional inventory report is that it can be used for up to 5 years or until significant changes are made in the property, so the document can be re-used for subsequent tenancies and updated each time providing great value for money.
The average cost of an inventory report is around £130 depending on number of bedrooms. Tenant damages can run in to thousands of pounds. Without the inventory you won’t be able to claim. £130 investment in insuring your property is protected against damage is worth every penny.
At Eclipse Inventories, we make it our vocation to educate ourselves in all things lettings so we are armed with the facts to assess fairly and evenly and make sure that your investment is protected and your time valued.
We will protect your assets through detailed reports and full photographs all regulated by industry bodies (AIIC & ARLA). We can also help you to comply on the legal requirements of being a landlord. Ultimately, we are here to save you time and stress by handling the process and offering full backup advice and support.
Here’s just a couple of examples of how an inventory report has helped our clients:
“I was very pleased by the service provided by Eclipse Inventories. As a result of their thorough and detailed report I was able to make a deduction from the holding deposit to cover outstanding cleaning charges”
“Eclipse provide a thorough and professional service, with extremely detailed inventories and lots of pictures. This was of significant importance when tenants left our furniture in a state of disrepair, as there was no debate to be had.”
Contact us today to see how we could help you too.