A new guide has been produced to help avoid disputes between landlords, letting agents and tenants over the return of deposits at the end of the tenancy.
The “ins and outs of inventories” provides comprehensive detail of what to take into account when compiling an inventory at the start of the tenancy, and includes expert advice from key industry leaders such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the UK Association of Letting Agents.
The new guidance, which has been produced by tenancy deposit scheme, my|deposits, aims to ensure landlords and agents are better placed to have their properties returned in a good condition when their tenants move out, and thus help to avoid disagreements over the return of the deposit.
A detailed inventory helps landlords and agents to compare the state of the property on check-in and check-out and determine whether they need to make any deposit deductions. It will also be relied upon if both parties need to resolve their differences using the free dispute resolution service offered by their tenancy deposit scheme.
Eddie Hooker, chief executive of my|deposits, said: “A large proportion of deposit disputes concern issues over cleanliness and damage to the property, so it is best practice to carry out a comprehensive inventory at the start of the tenancy.
“It should detail the current state of the property and its items, and provide the tenant with a clear comparison for how the property should be returned at the end of the tenancy.
“Landlords and agents can enlist a reputable inventory company to do this but many choose to undertake the inventory themselves, and this new guide should be their first point of reference.
"The guide will enable them to compile a solid and clear inventory which they can later rely on should they face a dispute. It should also educate everyone about their responsibilities under the tenancy agreement which can only help to further strengthen relationship between landlords, agents and their tenants.”
Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA, said: “Dealing with a deposit dispute can be stressful and costly for those involved so it’s always preferable to avoid this if possible.
“The ins and outs of inventories contains vital information about how to avoid a deposit dispute and is a must read for landlords, agents and tenants.
“The guidance makes it easy for landlords and agents to carry out their own inventory and also helps tenants understand what’s required of them before they depart the property, helping them to avoid unnecessary deductions to their deposit”.
Landlords and agents can download the new guidance for free by visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk/landing/inventoryguide/landlords