How inventories can help the letting industry evolve

It’s very often the case that time is of the essence when it comes to the lettings industry, but equally it’s hugely important that landlords, letting agents and tenants all adhere to their obligations and the legislation that binds the sector.

To ensure that the sector remains compliant, and grows in a positive, sustainable way, streamlined processes and time-saving efficiencies become vital in helping the letting industry to evolve while keeping standards very high.

Inventories play a crucial role in the smooth running of day-to-day tenancies and will play an even bigger role when planned widespread rental reform comes into force. They can help landlords and letting agents have more time to get on with crucial work and grow their businesses by taking care of the check-in and check-out process and carrying out mid-term inspections to ensure issues are nipped in the bud early or resolved quickly.

Here, we outline three ways in which inventories can help the industry to evolve.

Saving costs

By utilising the services of a professional inventory company who hold themselves to the highest industry standards, landlords and agents can save themselves a lot of money further down the line in potentially costly disputes. If an inventory hasn’t been carried out in the right way, this could make deposit disputes more likely, and also make the chances of getting a deposit back less likely.

What’s more, having a clear, concise, professionally compiled inventory – making abundantly obvious the condition of the property before, during and after a tenancy – will help to prevent or lessen the chances of deposit disputes occurring in the first place, as a clear evidence trail is there to see for all parties.

For landlords and agents, this could mean not having to shell out on costly repairs as the inventory will be able to show who caused the damage. For the tenant, meanwhile, an inventory offers a great body of evidence to turn to if they are accused of causing damage when they know this not to be the case.  

Saving time

High-quality inventories, carried out in the right way, can also help to save time. Whether this is time and energy wasted on deposit disputes, or time carried out making repairs, or the time between tenancies themselves, inventories play a crucial role here.

A fully functioning, streamlined and effective lettings industry requires the smooth turnover of tenancies, and in this respect inventories are the key. A smooth check-out process allows for one set of tenants to move out and another tenants to move in with the minimum of fuss, and without any of those dreaded void periods for landlords and agents.

Resolving problems and preventing stress

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, inventories are there to resolve problems by making clear – with written, video and photographic evidence – who has or hasn’t caused damage, or whether items have gone missing.

A poorly produced inventory report could ignite the start of a negative relationship between the parties involved in a tenancy agreement, and cause problems during the mid-term inspection and the check-out process as well. By contrast, as mentioned above, a professionally compiled inventory can help to keep any problems and disputes at bay.  

If disputes do still arise, then an inventory will hopefully be able to resolve this in a timely manner, leaving landlords and agents with more time to focus on other, more lucrative, areas of your business, and happier tenants.

This also ties in with preventing stress, which will naturally occur where deposit disputes arise and also for landlords and agents if void periods are encountered between tenancies as a result of damage or the requirement for a deep clean.

All of above will enable the market to function in a much smoother fashion and evolve to the next level, where standards are high across the board and disputes kept to a minimum.

Here at the AIIC, it is our mission to ensure proper information and training is provided and that highly skilled inventory clerks are available for landlords and agents to use. This will help to ensure a smooth and happy experience for all parties involved.

For more information, please contact us or search for your local AIIC member clerk now.

You can also download a copy of our Code of Practice and Guidelines for Professional Practice guide here.

Published on 30/06/2022