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Interview of Patricia Barber
Written by the Letting Agent Today team
Patricia Barber, Chairman of AIIC

Who are you?

Patricia Barber

What does it say on your business card?

Chairman of the Association of independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC)

How long has the AIIC been trading?

Since 1996, we have just celebrated our 20th anniversary. The AIIC is a ‘not for profit’ organisation.

How does the AIIC help letting agents?

We work hard to train and support independent inventory clerks nationwide. Inventories, check in and check out reports are vital and must be correctly detailed. They form part of the legal documentation of every let.

Having a professionally compiled inventory will help to minimise any end of tenancy dispute.

What is the most common problem that inventory clerks come across in rental properties?

Mould and condensation causes us – and everyone else involved – the biggest problems. All circumstances must be taken into account to find the cause.

Almost always this is down to lack of ventilation by tenants and general lack of care during the tenancy. It is rare that mould is caused by an external issue and not by tenant negligence.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing letting agents and landlords at the moment?

The influx of new government regulations covering the lettings industry are generally very welcome and will help to raise standards.

However, some seem to be ill thought out. For example the latest rules of the provision of smoke alarms and CO detectors fall hugely short.

There was no mention of CO2 detectors which protect tenants from fumes from gas appliances which is one of the most common forms of heating in a rental property.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

The AIIC runs bi-monthly training courses for new clerks and any other interested parties.

It is immensely satisfying to take 40 people, who may know very little about the whole inventory process, through this intensive course and see them gain a real understanding of the industry.

What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2016?

Having been in the lettings industry for thirty years I have seen all sorts of peaks and troughs in the housing market.

I predict that in 2016 the industry will remain buoyant in spite of any doom and gloom reports in the press.

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House or apartment?  House

City or countryside?  Countryside

Modern and stylish or period and original? Period but with all mod cons, oh and preferably with a heated pool!

Rent or buy?  Buy

Kirstie Allsopp or Phil Spencer?  Phil Spencer

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