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Disputes are determined at the start of a tenancy, not the end

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  • disputes,
  • property

The importance of Inventory Management Reports.

The importance of correct paperwork when letting a property cannot be underestimated. There are over 55 pieces of legislation to rent a single property and all require adhering too. Mostly, this legislation can be effectively managed at the start of the tenancy.

Condition and misuse of property reporting comes under the general term of Inventory Management reporting. These reports cover:

  1. Inventory and Schedule of Condition – a detailed professionally prepared aesthetic description of the internals and externals of a property, an inventory of all fixtures and fittings and their condition.
  2. Check In – the process of agreeing the inventory, the condition and cleanliness with the incoming tenant and registering of meters and keys.
  3. Property Visits – mid-term periodic inspections to check that the property is not being misused and that the tenant is adhering to the tenancy agreement.
  4. Check Out with Damage and Dilapidations – the report that determines the change between the start and the end of the tenancy, lists damages, missing items, the state of the cleanliness, property and garden condition, outstanding or due maintenance items, meters read and keys returned. The check out is carried out as the last act of the tenancy and is therefore usually carried out on the last day of tenancy.

Should the dispute end up at adjudication with one of the deposit schemes (ADR), the requirements for inventory management documentation are clearly defined as crucial. The onus is on the landlord to show why they are entitled to claim money from the deposit. The landlord must support their claim with robust and reliable evidence to show that the tenant has broken the tenancy agreement, and that the landlord has suffered, or is likely to suffer, a loss as a result.

The dispute service states the following:

“…..inventories that are not prepared by independent companies or individuals…..are likely to place less weight on their contents. It may also be necessary for a landlord to provide more corroborating evidence to show the condition of the property than would normally be required if the process was carried out by qualified and independent inventory clerks”.

“where landlords use their agents to conduct their check-in and check-out inspections………there is an added need to show that the process, and the person undertaking the inspection, was impartial. Adjudicators will take into consideration the general circumstances and relationship between the parties in determining what weight to put on the evidence”

“…..where a landlord puts the onus on the tenant to complete their own check in inspection, this type of check in is far less robust than a ‘full’ check in”.

“Just providing an inventory to the tenant and expecting them to note any discrepancies, or relying on a document that has not been signed, will not be sufficient to convince an adjudicator; the landlord will need to provide other evidence to show that their expectations and the tenant’s obligations were fully explained to the tenant”.

“Where a check-in is challenged by the tenant, a full audit trail of what remedial action has occurred should be provided and a revised check-in agreed and signed”

Further information on the requirements of the deposit schemes and other useful articles on inventory management can be found https://www.nolettinggo.co.uk/property-inventory-articles.html

 

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