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Inventories ‘could be integral part of rental redress reform’ claim

Independent inventory reporting is the perfect complement to the government’s proposed housing reforms.

That’s the view of the UK’s largest provider of inventory services, No Letting Go.

It says a clearer, single-route complaints system as proposed in the government’s Housing Complaints Resolution Service, can be supported by impartial, evidence-based documents such as independent inventories.

At the end of January, James Brokenshire, secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, announced an overhaul of the existing housing redress system.

As well as proposals for landlords to join a redress scheme and the introduction of a new homes ombudsman, there was also the unveiling of plans for a Housing Complaints Resolution Service.

A Redress Reform Working Group is expected to report early in the summer with specific proposals for ministers to consider.

"We welcome the government's plans to reform housing redress and believe the new system will increase consumer confidence by providing a straight-forward and accessible complaints procedure” says Nick Lyons, No Letting Go’s chief executive and founder.

He supports making inventories mandatory and preferably independent as a way of complementing a beefed-up redress process. 

"An impartial inventory and compliance report can be used as evidence by tenants making a complaint, or for protecting landlords and letting agents against unreasonable or unfounded tenant claims. It could give a complainant’s case more weight by showing and describing issues clearly” he says.

According to the Property Ombudsman's annual report 2017 - the latest available - the total amount of money awarded as a result of lettings complaints increased by 18 per cent from 2016 to a total of £931,092, almost treble the total handed out for sales complaints.

What's more, the average lettings award increased by 18 per cent while the number of resolved lettings cases increased by 11 per cent. 

Management and communication and record keeping were the most common causes of complaints.

One of the official existing redress services, the Property Redress Scheme, has also found that poor inventories are a major reason letting agents are found culpable for not managing a property properly.

"As we can see, there is more activity in the lettings sector when it comes to complaints. This is why it’s so important that the new system is clear and uses evidence and documentation effectively, much like the tenancy deposit protection industry” adds Lyons.

"As is the case with deposit disputes, handled by tenancy deposit protection schemes, inventories can also prove truly valuable for landlords if they need to prove the condition of their property against an unfair or bogus complaint” Lyons continues.

No Letting Go operates 65 offices across the country offering pre-tenancy, check-in, property management and end of tenancy services.

  • icon
    • D G
    • 08 March 2019 10:29 AM

    One question, how can it be independent and impartial when the tenant fee ban comes in? Who will be the sole client?

  • S l
    • S l
    • 08 March 2019 12:13 PM

    who pay for the inventories and referencing since the enforcement of fees ban comes into play?

  • Kieran Ryan

    some landlords have already informed us that they will NOT pay for both the check-in and the check out inventory fees!! There will be many problems with this, as we see it it is NOT an agents fee, it is a separate companies fee. There will be huge problems with the inventory system and TDS etc.

  • icon

    If there is only a minor problem with an inventory at check out it is going to be a lot cheaper for the landlord just to take the hit and put the costs against tax. Some of the inventories that I have been getting via my agent are close to useless. Their photography is so poor it is meaningless and their knowledge of how a house works goes only as far as learning how to phone an expert who is usually just a trader looking for easy work..

  • WEE BRYAN

    For companies down south, check out the approved deposit companies in Scotland.
    The decisions they have made public for you to see on their sites should be informative.
    It is allways stilted in the tenants favor even against invetories & photographic evidence.
    Yet the instruction seminars, allways emphisise those elements as being in the landord's best interest.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 10 March 2019 21:31 PM

    so whats the point of paying for inventories and check in. also how do we complaint on the error of their decisions since it is bias against landlord and it should not be

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