Have you ever wondered how the life of a professional inventory clerk is? We decided to ask directly to our franchisees and share with you their professional experiences but also any light hearted or intriguing anecdotes. The first ones to answer our questions are Alison & Mark from the No Letting Go Swindon & Cotswolds local branch.
1) Some of our readers may be unsure as to what is involved in your line of work. Shed some light by telling us about a typical day in the life of a professional inventory clerk.
Independently and impartially carrying out a detailed inventory of and reporting on condition and cleanliness of properties primarily in the residential lettings sector before, during and after a tenancy has taken place. A typical day will involve liaising with letting agents / landlords and tenants in order to make this happen!
2) As a professional inventory clerk it is essential that you have an eye for detail; what other skills would you consider essential to do the job well?
Empathy, enthusiasm, resolve, impartiality, flexibility, initiative and resilience!!
3) How might a landlord prepare for an inventory?
Ensure in good decorative order with carpets professionally cleaned and vacuumed, all rubbish/ unwanted items removed, kitchen and bathrooms , flooring and woodwork all professionally cleaned throughout.
4) When moving house, stuff is constantly being shifted about from place to place and it is all too easy to overlook the odd item when packing. You must have come across some oddities during your time as an inventory clerk. What are the five strangest items you have found in a property during check out?
Wardrobe novelty door knob decorations such as soft toys/ hearts etc, a leather whip, , a straw boater hat and recipe cards to name a few!
5) Property is hot business at the minute, often seen as a great investment if managed properly. If you could offer three tips for new landlords wanting to let their properties what would they be?
Maintain it. Have it professionally cleaned and arrange a detailed, impartial and professional inventory make.
6) Landlords and tenants are two of a kind; they can be great, a perfect match but they can also be high maintenance, occasionally apathetic and sometimes complacent. What are the three most typical complaints landlords have in relation to the inventory market?
- Poor quality reports from previous inventory providers
- Tenants leaving the place in a worse condition than taken on, most of the time not technically correct as they often have a ‘rose tinted view’ of their own properties
- Missing / damaged items or appliances
7) And what about the tenants, do you ever receive any complaints from them if so what are typical complaints and are they always justified?
- Non- completed tasks / actions by landlord or through letting agent such as phone points that were supposed to have been installed
- Grass cutting before tenancy
- Cleanliness or lack of it! in relation to the property
8) Animal lovers can often be dismayed when moving into rented accommodation as many landlords do not allow pets to be kept within their property. In your experience, what implications and issues does owning a pet have on a property?
- Wear & tear on carpets
- Build up of pet hair
9) You must have held the keys to a fair few houses in your time: from the elegant to the beautifully designed to the stunningly decorated. Can you tell us about any interesting houses you’ve come across?
48 room 138 page inventory on an 11 bedroom, 7 bathroom country house with swimming pool, tennis courts, changing rooms, walled garden and stable blocks & outbuildings. A number of large farmhouses all with seemingly single people moving in!!
10) On the No Letting Go website it states: “No Letting Go will provide peace of mind and ensure no horrible surprises”, give us an example of any “horrible surprises” you’ve encountered.
- On a job in a rural location everything was prepared meticulously by the both agent and landlord with carpets professionally cleaned and even re-stretched, yet when we arrived to carry out the inventory make , overnight a Jackdaw had fallen down the chimney and marked the carpets again with loose carbon from the chimney and had several accidents shall we say, scared in a corner we managed to get him outside and contacted the agent bringing the tenants attention to it at check in but adding that additional cleaning was being arranged as we carried it out!
- Upon carrying out a inventory on a newly renovated property the landlord said would be clear but they had still been living in the property , were pulling cables through the ceiling still for inset spotlights and even though there were ‘glass walls’ upstairs the landlords partner was running around half naked !!
11) There are many routes towards owning your own business, what compelled you to become an inventory franchisee, has it been a wise decision and how much did you know about the world of inventories previously?
General interest in / passion for property. Not sure yet as still early days yet love the work but need it to provide a better income level & no not really!!
12) Would you recommend inventory management as a career for others?
Yes, if you are hard working, adaptable, flexible, self- reliant and personable you’ll do very well.