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Inventory wars hot up as warning issued over 'for-profit' trade bodies

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.

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    They are also a nice little earner for regular letting agents who can sub-contract out and charge the property owner an inflated fee. Of course the letting agent gets a good back hander.

    They also miss things that need mending. Shower hoses for example. Then you get the situation where the agent does not bother with a pre let inspection because the inventory should have spotted it.

    I have been disgusted by recent inventories I have received. Bad photography, poor descriptions and no earthly chance of making a claim on a departing tenant. Any problem, once your money is in their bank is down to fair wear and tare. The agent proudly boasts how good their service is.

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