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  • Property Management

    This one picture will convince of the value of an inventory and inspections.

    An article in the Mail today once again confirms how important the inventory is, combined with mid-term property inspections.

    These are the shocking pictures taken by a landlord of his house left stacked with empty bottles, cigarette ends and food scraps.

    This is how one resident lived for several years, in the home filled with so much rubbish they weren't able to see their own carpet, let alone walk on it.

    The landlord was left to clear it up when he entered his property after the long-term tenant, who has not been named, moved out.

    [Image: 25E8731800000578-0-image-a-121_1424536723702.jpg]

    The landlord – who has asked for the property's full address to be withheld – only suspected there was a problem when the tenant would not let a gas engineer in to check the boiler. (Warning sign!).

    Notice was served, but the tenant fled and left the landlord to face a bill of thousands of pounds to clean the property and return it to its former state.

    [Image: 25E8732000000578-0-image-m-128_1424536758181.jpg]

    [Image: 25E8732F00000578-0-image-m-129_1424536768069.jpg]

    Full/source story

    [Image: house.png]Related content:

    Suspected brothel

    Not having an inventory is giving your tenant an unfair advantage

    Top 5 "most misunderstood" aspects of the rental process

    Top 10 most deadly landlord pitfalls ... and how to avoid them

    Importance of inventories and mid-term property inspections with Yellowoak

    Who cleans the shower grouting/silicone?

    Gross hoarder tenant shocks landlord
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    A Lincolnshire landlord was recently shocked to find a 50 stone pig living in his rented property.

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    Dr Gary Armstrong is now facing a bill for thousands of pounds for cleaning and repairs, after he discovered the giant porker was living inside his £175,000 three-bedroom bungalow.

    The GP, who was letting the bungalow to an RAF serviceman, had put a ‘no pets’ rule in place, but discovered the huge black pig in the property during an inspection.

    “The whole thing started to come together as the state of the house and garden were not consistent with a dog. To my surprise, on an inspection I found a 50 stone, fully grown black pig living inside the house,” Dr Armstrong revealed.

    “On a previous inspection we had been kept out of one room where I suspect the pig was hiding.”

    “The house is in a shocking state. On a personal note, it’s so upsetting to see a much loved family home ruined.”

    Full/source story

    This story highlights the importance of the inventory and mid-term property inspections!
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    Hair raising. No matter how weird you think tenants can be, you can always find some who will be weirder. No doubt the people living in the first property will be regarded as having some kind of hoarding syndrome and therefore not responsible for the mess Wink
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    Another salutary reminder about the importance of mid-term property inspections:

    A landlord has discovered 'more than 10,000 beer cans' dumped in his rental property in Dublin.

    Full/source story

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    Independent inventory reports cost as little as £1.50 a week over the course of a 12-month tenancy, so why aren’t all landlords investing in the greatest assurance to their investments?

    For most reasonable landlords and letting agents, the idea of letting out a property without a deposit seems unfathomable and outright stupid. Handing the keys to a new tenant without any money on account for damages leaves a landlord and their most valuable asset at risk and vulnerable.

    Daniel Zane, Chair of the AIIC (Association for Independent Inventory Clerks) stresses that this is exactly what happens when a new tenancy is not accompanied by an independently compiled inventory report carried out by a professional, impartial inventory clerk. 

    Zane suggests that letting a property without an independent inventory report in place is no different to handing the keys to a stranger without any deposit in place. When inventory reports are not in place at the start of tenancy’s, if there is a need for deductions at the end of the tenancy there will be absolutely no proof to back up the deductions required. 

    Without independent inventory reports, landlords are out in the dark and have to rely on luck with regards to the reliability of an individual tenant and their willingness to put right any damages, leaving the landlord with little to no control over the condition of their property.

    Zane is clear that an inventory report must be carried out by an independent third-party inventory clerk in order to carry any weight in a tenancy dispute and therefore ensure the recovery of costs for a landlord. 

    Zane explains that many landlords are unaware that an independent, professionally compiled inventory report will costs as little at £1.50 per week over the course of a 12-month tenancy agreement, which is a small cost when compared to the savings it can ensure.

    ​With years of experience in the lettings industry, Zane is constantly amazed by the number of landlords that still embark on new tenancies without such assurances in place, putting their finances and their properties at risk.

    The AIIC regulates all independent inventory clerks in the UK, ensuring that the inventories landlords commission from an AIIC regulated inventory clerk are both impartial and thorough and act to protect the landlord's investment and the integrity of the tenancy.

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    As Landlords and Property Managers it has always been our standard operating practice to arrange and pay for an Inventory Check-In using a third party/independent specialist Inventory company. The Tenants have also been (contractually) obliged to arrange and pay for the Inventory Check-Out with the same company at the end of their tenancy.


    For the most part this has worked very well, and as the genuinely independent Inventory company is impartially representing BOTH parties it has created a fair and equitable report on which deductions can be based.


    With the new Tenant Fees ban coming into force it is my understanding that we will not be able to (contractually) impose the cost of the Inventory Check-Out on the tenants (someone please correct me if I am wrong about this).


    This means that the Landlord will have to pay for the Inventory Check-In AND the Check-Out.

    As the Inventory company, no matter how independent, will only be acting for one party rather than both parties this may have a big effect on the impartiality of the service they provide i.e. they are working solely for the Landlord as their Client.

    Furthermore, if the Landlord is paying for both the Check-In and the Check-Out why even use an independent Inventory company at all?

    Larger landlords and property managers could use employed staff to create both the Check-In and the Check-Out report and simply list the issues/deductions as they see fit.


    Perhaps I am jumping to too many conclusions and reading too much into the Fees ban but there are likely to be some unintended consequences.

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    " Furthermore, if the Landlord is paying for both the Check-In and the Check-Out why even use an independent Inventory company at all? "

    Totally agree.

    I would also question why LLs's don't visit their properties regularly. Just this week I found an outside tap dripping (more like streaming) on the decking which the tenant hadn't spotted/didn't care about. It was only that I was there to clean out the filters on the tumble drier that I noticed and can now do something about it.

    It's a trained eye and nose that can spot problems in a house, probably before the tenant even notices.

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    You are correct - the TFB does not allow you to charge a tenant directly for the check-in/out report. Instead you will need to increase the rent to cover the cost (so £13/month = 2 * £1.50/week). The TFB also makes it illegal for you to drop the rent after you have recovered the cost of the banned fees so it is going to cost the tenants more i the long term (assuming they stay past the fixed term).

    I have used an inventory company once. Every item of the furniture that they listed (they didn't include everything) was listed as new. Only the beds were new and I nearly didn't put several of the items in as I didn't think they were good enough. None of the (admittedly minor) damage on any item was included. I had to spend hours correcting the report. It would have been quicker to generate my own report from scratch on my laptop rather than editing the paper copy (which is all the letting agent would give me).

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    These companies don't check on the non-visible side of the mattresses, or look behind furniture either!

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