The current ‘busy season’ for lettings turnovers at the end of student terms would be made significantly easier if agents and landlords used professional independent inventories, a trade body claims.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says when tenancies end, a high proportion of renters can leave items or walk away from property damage, making it vital that agents and landlords are prepared.
According to a study of almost 3,000 landlords - carried out by a national interiors firm - 89 per cent indicated that tenants always leave something unwanted behind when moving out of a rental property.
Perhaps more worrying, some 72 per cent said their property had been left in an unhygienic or dirty state and 57 per cent reported it had been left with obvious damage.
"Our members often find bizarre items in rental properties when carrying out check-out inspections at the end of tenancies, and while it’s mildly amusing on the surface, there is a serious issue at play here" explains recently-appointed joint chair of the AIIC, Danny Zane.
"A lot of the narrative surrounding inventories focuses on landlords' items and what could go missing or get damaged. However, people must remember that an inventory covers items left at the property too" he adds.
Zane says that in the instance a tenant leaves a large item behind, the inventory can prove that it does not belong to the landlord and therefore the tenant can be charged for the removal cost.
The AIIC also warns that agents and landlords without the required documentation in place could find themselves spending hundreds of pounds on removal or cleaning bills at the end of a contract.