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Surge in fake inventories in the past year, claims lettings body

There was a surge in the number of fake lettings inventories submitted last year, allowing tenants to be conned out of thousands of pounds.

That’s the claim by Danny Zane, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. 

“It is simple for us to illustrate how easily an arbitrated claim can be manipulated via the very inventory report and check-out process that should be protecting both the landlord and the tenant. This must urgently now be addressed. As property inspectors we must be covered by law and regulation” explains Zane, 


He makes his claim in a statement saying that there has, so far in 2020, been a surge in demand for legitimate inventories.

In particular, Zane says large letting agency chains have been active in instructing inventories. 

“The property lettings market has been evolving dramatically over the last few years, regarding regulations and compliance, and it seems it will carry on doing so throughout the year ahead. Already confirmed for this year is the retrospective fee ban and electrical safety certificates for landlords” he says. 


“We believe that everyone in the lettings industry now understands the vital importance of providing inventory and check-out reports in addition to making sure they are transparently compiled by an unbiased, third party. Making sure these contracts and enough inventory clerks are in place for a busy lettings market this year is essential to any solid, law abiding lettings agency”. 

And he concludes: “This spike in demand for unbiased inventory reports shows that people mean business and the future is bright for landlords, tenants and the property sector as a whole”. 

  • SCN Lettings

    In 18 years of being a landlord and an agent I have never seen a falsified inventory. Where is the evidence? Perhaps the AIIC should spend less time on self propaganda to further it's own ends and more on factual reporting.


    I agree 100%. Been a landlord for 40 years, 13 years as a letting agent. This type of self promoting article wastes credible industry news.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    How do you fake an inventory? Surely to be valid it needs to be counter-signed and forging signatures would be fraud. Haven't come across anyone talking about falsified inventories.....Danny can you elaborate on or support these claims in any way?

  • Sián Hemming Metcalfe

    I've not seen a fake inventory; I've seen some poor and really bad reports compiled by both inventory providers, agents and landlords but never fake. I'd be interested to see an example and how they attempt to 'fool' both the tenant / landlord and potentially the adjudicator?

  • icon

    We have seen a large rise in reporting to suit one party only. This ranges from contact to us regarding obvious things left out at the start to exits where all parties have not been present.
    We have had reports from the public and members stating many examples of how reporting has now become a way to keep deposits rather than protect them.
    We know of one company being said as making properties dirty at the exit for their cleaning charges...
    Inventory reports need protecting as do all parties and the deposit.
    We acknowledge how easy it is to make a one sided check out to suit deposit refunds and wonder how much longer it can be left in the hands of any rogue in the sector.

    Anthony Stevens

    Show us the stats. What utter tosh.

    • 29 January 2020 15:22 PM

    I have NEVER seen a "fake" inventory in my entire career of 10+ years in the lettings industry. Please provide evidence of your allegations.

    Who contacted you? how many have you received? What companies are you citing?

    There will always be an extremely small minority of unscrupulous landlords or agents, however that by no means constitutes a SURGE. If you're making a claim, please provide evidence.

    • D G
    • 29 January 2020 17:29 PM

    This really does sound made up. I have been providing inventory services for over 20 years and have never heard of such a thing. What is a fake inventory, what is a fake checkout report, where would the supporting evidence come from. As for a company making a property dirty to keep the tenants deposit, surely then they'd have to pay a cleaner to go in and clean it; where would be the sense in that. I'm really struggling with this article. The AIIC used to be a great organisation please don't spoil it with this nonsense.

  • Matthew Payne

    I have to say I am not convinced it is that easy to fudge inventorys/checkins/checkouts other than in some pretty unorthodox situations, as tenants photograph and all parties get to see the docs. Yes there are honest mistakes/ommissions but they get rectified. My tenants were always lightning fast to challenge even the smallest detail in check outs and we used approved contractors. Why wouldnt they challenge a rogue's version? In 25 years, I've never seen a complaint, or even any press on the subject before now.

    The deposit registration process is designed to prevent this, however unscrupulous a landlord may choose to be. (The inventory clerk has nothing to gain by being so) If a tenant has been served TDS E, the certificate, the prescribed information, a tenancy agreement, the How to Rent guide, and the inventory check in, there is little chance of the tenant not being aware of the correct process, and wouldn't choose to ignore it.

    There will always be a tiny fraction of the population that legislation cannot protect as it always requires some engagement and common sense applied to work. I suppose it is possible if there was no agent involved, intro only from Gumtree, the landlord chose to ignore all legislation, the tenant lived in a vacuum, had never rented before, never asked friends or family for advice, or Googled help when the landlord then tried to keep their deposit with a bogus check out, that it could happen very occasionally.

  • Anthony Stevens

    More unintelligible drivel from the AIIC. This association is an embarrassment to the profession.

    The adjudicators are qualified legal professionals and will not be duped by a "fake" inventory, unlike members of the AIIC who are not required to obtain a qualification of any sort.

    Is the AIIC suggesting the adjudicators are incompetent and have allowed "tenants to be conned out of thousands of pounds" ?

    Utter nonsense. Show us the stats

  • icon

    I have had more problems with AIIC inventories than I ever have elsewhere including major discrepancies between a check out and check in 5 days apart by same so called qualified clerk - caused major headache with tenant and landlord alike and it is agent who is blamed for incompetence not inventory company
    I have had major items missed and huge variations in quality.
    I have been in 2 companies managing over 1000 tenanted properties as well as other smaller ones and only once had one allegation of faking which was disproved on investigation.
    AIIC should police and quality check those who hold their qualification rather than make out it is a common problem

  • icon

    Happened just to me. Real estate agend gave me falsified INVENTORY!!!!! Simply she used photos from some different dirty house…


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