The UK’s inventories trade body, the AIIC, has revealed that the tenant fees ban is beginning to undermine the integrity of the check-in and check-out process within the private rental market and that the Ministry of Housing is become concerned as asked for evidence to be gathered.
Danny Zane, Chair of the The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (The AIIC) says his members have begun to see ‘more and more’ evidence of biased inventory reports being used by letting agents to give them the edge during difficult check-outs, and help generate income by doing inventories themselves and charging landlords for the service, rather than using third party suppliers.
“The temptation is that agents who do their own inventories are likely to favour the landlord in any subsequent disputes,” says Zane.
The Negotiator has also been told that the AIIC is compiling evidence against a well-known high street agent who has an interest in a leading inventory service but doesn’t disclose this to tenants.
For this reason the AIIC has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Hamilton Fraser that its new ‘alternative deposits’ service Ome will mandate that inventories are carried out by third parties independent of the landlord or letting agent.
The association has also called for the government to introduce mandatory independent inventory service provision within the lettings industry.
Zane says he has been asked by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to look into the problem of biased inventories being used by agents and landlords to control the check-ins and check-outs.
“We have been talking to one deposit scheme that acknowledges that reporting should be left to a third party, but I feel we are some way off this being stated until the MHCLG acts on requiring reporting to be mandatory via a fair and independent third party,” says Zane.
“Hamilton Fraser are an amazing market disrupter with this launch, and we are all very excited about Ome.
“This is an independent service with its own adjudication service that will require evidence based reporting at both the start and end of a tenancy agreement. This feels like the start of the future in the private rented sector.”