If you want to know why inventories are vital for agents and landlords, look no further than the high-profile dispute over the condition of a London apartment rented by popstar and former X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.
That’s the message from No Letting Go, the UK's largest provider of inventory services with over 65 offices across the country, and the company which played a central part in the controversy.
Former N-Dubz member Tulisa was recently ordered to pay over £70,000 to the landlord of the property, in the north London suburb of Enfield, after landlord Andrew Charalambous told a court that the luxury property had been “trashed” during her tenancy.
He said the three-bedroom flat, costing £3,466 per month to rent, was let in “tip-top condition” but was returned in an “appalling” and “unlettable” state. Damage carried out between September 2014 and July 2016 was reported to have included a smashed sink, cigarette burns, stains and doors ripped from hinges.
The star’s lawyer argued that the damage was not caused by her and that it was not above normal wear and tear.
But Judge David Saunders ruled against her and she was ordered to pay compensation, interest and legal costs in excess of £70,000 to the landlord.
The inventory work on the property was carried out by Mitchell Walters, the owner of No Letting Go's Barnet and Enfield franchise, who deals with many high-end properties in the capital. The landlord in this high-profile case described the inventory work carried out at his property as “excellent.”
Walters says: "We were pleased to be able to contribute towards helping the landlord win compensation in his case against the former tenant as the property was treated very poorly and would have cost him thousands to renovate and repair. Our inventory reporting helped to demonstrate its pristine condition at the start of the tenancy.
"Hopefully the high-profile nature of this case will help to remind landlords and letting agents about the potential financial implications of property damage if they don't have professional and comprehensive measures in place.”
Nick Lyons, No Letting Go’s chief executive and founder, adds: “When serious disputes between landlords and tenants like this occur, being able to prove it through evidence becomes crucial if landlords want to recover costs for repairs and replacements.
"This case also shows that it doesn't matter whether a rental property is at the very top or bottom end of the market, landlords and letting agents need to follow the same procedures when it comes to documenting its condition before, during and after a tenancy if they want ensure they are protected against damage.”