Why I use An Independent Third Party Inventory Clerk, And Maybe You Should Too
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
Throughout the years I’ve been in the Residential Letting industry I have come across a few varied ways on how agents/landlords go about getting an Inventory done. Every rented property ideally will have an Inventory that has been created a day or so prior to the tenancy beginning, which the new tenants will be checked in on and sign to say they agree to the contents of the report. The Inventory is a very detailed report that will list the condition of absolutely everything within the property, they are usually 30 plus pages and a photo file so don’t panic if you feel you have a small book to read, it doesn’t mean your property is dirty or has issues, they just contain a lot of detail.
I know some agents where their employed staff carry out the Inventories, Check In’s and Check Out’s. I don’t agree with this method as the idea of an Inventory Clerk is to be impartial to the agent, tenant and landlord. If the agent is carrying out the Inventory they are employed by the Landlord and could, I am not saying agents do this as I’m sure they don’t, leave off some damage, marks or a stain to the carpet and penalise the outgoing tenant for something that was present when they moved in to benefit the landlord. The agent may have a contractors commission set up whereby if a job is done by a contractor the agent will benefit from 5-10% of the bill, therefore the agent has a monetary incentive for works to be needed either being paid for from the tenants deposit or the landlord.
For those landlords who wish to do the Inventory themselves I do try to discourage and give them the reasons why an independent third party Inventory Clerk is a good idea. As a landlord you have an invested interest for the Inventory to state the property has been professionally cleaned, redecorated throughout, new carpets when in fact those things may not be 100% factual.
Most tenants don’t have time to sit down and go through a 30 plus page document just after moving house to make sure that every minor detail is listed, they trust the report has been created in good faith. Therefore having an independent third party Inventory Clerk creating the report stops the agent or landlord from having contents in the report to favour them and exploit the fact most tenants don’t read this document until Check Out when it’s too late!
I’m not by all means saying every Inventory Clerk is spot on 100% of the time; that would be impossible. They are human and errors will occur, this is their job and they are trained in what to look for and how to word a report for case examiners to interoperate if a deposit dispute was sent to the alternative dispute resolution.
I have always found using an independent third party Inventory Clerk is helpful when there is a dispute over a landlords claim from the tenant’s deposit. To be able to say to a tenant the Inventory Clerk is unbiased and has no monetary gain from putting cleaning, damages, stains on a Check Out report does give you some trust back you aren’t ripping them off!
So to summarise the reasons why I use an independent third party inventory clerk is:
· No monetary gain to the reports contents
· Use language a dispute resolution centre will look for in a dispute
· Can help to justify a landlord claim for a deposit deduction
Remember to always thoroughly check the Inventory and make sure you are happy with its contents and let the agent know if you aren’t so they can deal with it accordingly. At the point of Check Out is too late to raise a discrepancy!
I hope this post has been helpful. If you need any help, please feel free to contact me using the details provided below.
0333 772 0718