Lettings agents, landlords and consumers are being warned about a growing number of ‘for-profit’ companies claiming to be independent inventory trade bodies.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks - a not-for-profit body - says a spate of these new businesses are seeking to make money from the growing importance of inventories in the private rental sector.
The AIIC argues that these organisations do not offer the correct level of protection for consumers and are damaging for the professional lettings industry.
"It's a case of wolves in sheep's clothing" says Danny Zane, AIIC chair and managing director of My Property Inventories.
"These [for-profit] companies are masquerading as industry trade bodies when they are in fact for-profit ventures offering additional products and software solutions” claims Zane.
The AIIC says that as the private rented sector continues to grow, more companies claiming to be industry associations have sprung up and that property professionals should be cautious about which organisations they partner with.
The AIIC, established in 1996, has over 1,350 members nationwide and offers training courses to the industry.
“Partnering with an independent inventory clerk can provide landlords and consumers with peace of mind that they are working with an impartial expert who is following all government regulations” Zane says.
He says that landlords who don’t have a professionally-compiled comprehensive inventory available at the end of a tenancy could find it difficult to make deposit deductions, while tenants who rent from a landlord who hasn’t provided a professionally compiled inventory could leave themselves open to unnecessary costs or disputes.