The importance of independent inventories – spreading the word
The AIIC have issued a press release pointing out the benefits of independent inventories, and the potential pitfalls of going down the route of using a person or firm that is owned by or allied to a property company.
When you are running a members’ association of independent inventory clerks, it’s important to spread that message.
This helps to raise awareness among landlords, encouraging them to see the value and transparency of a truly independent report.
Value, because there is a separation between letting agents’ prices and our members’ prices, making an independent inventory more cost-effective.
Transparency, because independent inventories are unbiased and objective, and landlords and tenants know exactly who they are dealing with.
Value and transparency to impress clients
These are great points which our members can use to market themselves to landlords, or to letting agencies which do not employ their own inventory team.
And that whole question of employment is, in fact, rather opaque. Many landlords don’t realise that when they leave it to a letting or managing agency to arrange the inventory, (whether that company is large or small) the work is often passed to a firm that the agency owns.
This is where more awareness is needed, because in the above scenario, these companies are there to make money, while the AIIC is a not-for-profit organisation.
There is also the possibility of bias creeping in, in favour of the landlord; and if there is a dispute between individual landlords or agencies and tenants when damage has occurred, this potential for bias may be taken into account in any adjudication process.
Fairness and objectivity are embedded
In contrast, fairness and objectivity will be the bedrock of the process when it is carried out by an independent individual or company which is a member of the AIIC.
AIIC chair Daniel Evans is calling on the Government to include measures in the Renters’ Reform Bill – going before Parliament this year – which would guarantee the use of qualified, independent inventory clerks in the inventory, check-in and check-out process.
But whether that happens, or until it happens, our members can help to raise awareness and garner more business by, for instance, pointing out on their websites and marketing materials that they are not only well-qualified, but also totally independent.
Landlords can also be made aware that this can reassure tenants, knowing that the inventory process will not be biased in favour of either side and will therefore have credibility.
This is why it will always be better for landlords to turn to our members for all their inventory needs.
Published on 02/05/2023