The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says it still believes there is an opportunity for the government to introduce mandatory inventory reporting across the private rental sector.
The association has been campaigning for two years on the issue, which it says would ensure greater protection for agents, landlords and tenants, as well as providing higher professional standards.
So far the AIIC has petitioned and lobbied the government, carried out educational talks on the subject and met with deposit protection and property redress schemes.
“We're knocking on all of the relevant doors to make compulsory inventory reporting a reality in the private rented sector” says Danny Zane, Chair of the AIIC.
“The importance of impartial check-ins and check-outs taking place at the start and end of each tenancy cannot be underestimated. As rents rise and subsequently push up the value of average security deposits, it's vital that the tenant's money and landlord's investment are offered the required protection.”
“Of course, even tenancies using zero deposit schemes can end in dispute or with property damage when the tenancy ends” he says.
“Wider adoption of independent inventories will contribute towards fewer deposit disputes, while these documents remain invaluable in the event that a disagreement between landlord and tenant is referred to a deposit protection scheme.”
With a ban on upfront letting agent fees charged to tenants as well as a six-week cap on security deposits both likely to become law next year, the AIIC says legislation around inventory reporting would complement these policies.
“In order for the deposit cap to be truly effective, landlords and tenants need to be sure that the money is protected not only by a deposit protection scheme, but by an impartial inventory which provides full details of the property’s condition” adds Zane, who is also managing director of My Property Inventories.
“Moreover, if rents rise due to the ban on fees as expected, then typical damage deposits will increase as a result. This means landlords will need to be able to call upon an inventory to prove deductions. At the same time, higher sums of tenants’ money will be at risk and so they will need the assurance that it’s protected by impartiality,” he says.
Over the coming months, the AIIC says it will continue to campaign for mandatory independent inventory reporting by raising awareness and meeting with opinion formers.