Don’t Invent the Inventory!
31st May 2012
A lettings and property management agency is urging landlords to ensure they have a full inventory in place or risk facing significant costs down the line.
Bosses at Lighthouse Property Services say that the increase in the number of tenants staying in one property for longer periods of time means it is even more important to ensure landlords have a thorough record of the condition and contents of the property.
Simon Sewell, Lettings Director at the Lincoln-based agency, said: “We have seen that the amount of time tenants are staying in one place is increasing. If you have tenants in a property for a long period of time, and you don’t have a full and comprehensive inventory done right at the start, you could end up forgetting exactly what things looked like and what was in there.
“You should never rely on your memory to give you an accurate record of the condition and contents of the property. Longer rental periods also means there are fewer opportunities for ‘downtime' between tenancies for landlords to make improvements.
“We would encourage all landlords to ensure they have a full and comprehensive inventory carried out.”
According to ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), the average length of tenancy across the UK has increased by 17 per cent in the past two years, from 16.5 months in 2009 to 19.3 months in 2011.
It is advised that both parties sign the inventory at the start of the contract to ensure they agree on what is included. This means there can be little room for argument at the end of a tenancy and you as a landlord can feel confident any damage which goes beyond reasonable wear and tear will be rectified either by the tenant or using the tenant’s deposit.
“Landlords and tenants alike should remember that disputes over deposit returns can be one of the biggest headaches facing both parties, but these can be easily avoided if a professional inventory is prepared,” added Simon. “I would recommend using a professional lettings agency to carry out the inventory so you can ensure you don’t miss anything vital. We have staff who have passed the Association of Professional Inventory Property exam so that we can ensure we get it right.”
Notes to editors:
- Lighthouse Property Services is a property management company which was established by Tim Clark in 2000. The firm now manages a wide range of rental properties including students and the private sector. Visit www.lighthouse-property.co.uk or call 01522 780020 for more.
- Lighthouse Property Services is part of Countywide which is the UK's No.1 Property Services Group.
- Find out more about The Association of Residential Letting Agencies at www.arla.co.uk/