The trade body representing inventory report professionals in the UK has called for their work to be made both compulsory and regulated during the lettings process.
Danny Zane (pictured, below), the joint chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AICC), also says that if the letting fees ban reduces the number of inventories used within the private rented sector as landlords seek to cut costs, it will render the protected deposits protection system “pointless”.
“With the election over and a new housing minister now in place, it’s time for the government to think about housing and in particular the growing private rented sector, which now accounts for around a fifth of all households,” he says.
“Independent, third party inventories are a fundamentally important part of the lettings process and they need to be made obligatory.
“In the past, politicians have been quick to praise the success of compulsory deposit protection – introduced in 2007.
“But if there is no unbiased inventory detailing the condition of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy, then all this good work is undermined and it could be argued that taking deposits and protecting them is essentially rendered pointless.”
Danny also says that he is “alarmed” that the government does not treat inventories as importantly as other key processes within the rental sector such as deposits and tenancy agreements.
To back up its case the AIIC cites recent research by tenant referencing firm Homelet, which revealed that 12.5% of tenants have had a deposit withheld and that 30% of tenancies are completed without a check-in and out inventory report.
The AIIC, which is based in Reading and is a not-for-profit organisation, was set up 1996 and has over 850 members. It’s been led since its formation by Patricia Barber, who was recently replaced by joint chairs Danny Zane and Emma Glencross.