The soaring cost of a private rental deposit - now approaching £1,000 - makes the need for an accurate inventory greater than ever.
That's the view of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, citing recent research by the Deposit Protection Service showing the average tenant had to pay a deposit of £970.48 when moving into a rental property.
Now that there are hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of damage deposits at stake during the average tenancy, deposit deductions or disputes at the end of a contract could be costly for tenants, landlords and letting agents, according to Patricia Barber, chair of the AIIC.
Should a deposit dispute occur – the event when a formal dispute adjudication is taken on by one of the three government-approved deposit protection schemes – then a professional and independent inventory will help the acting scheme to make the correct and fairest judgement.
“Landlords who do not have a comprehensive inventory to hand at the end of a tenancy could make it extremely difficult for themselves to claim back funds for damages and lost items,” explains Barber.
She also advises tenants to take extra care when checking their inventory to make sure that all items initially listed are present.
“In the event items listed on the inventory are broken or lost, it can often be cheaper for the tenant to replace them rather than waiting till the end of the tenancy,” she says.