The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) remains hopeful that independent inventory reporting will become a compulsory requirement.
The AIIC, the UK’s only membership association for independent inventory clerks, has been campaigning for the introduction of mandatory independent inventory reporting of all private rental properties for two years with the aim of providing greater protection and higher professional standards.
Compulsory tenancy deposit protection was introduced in 2007, but there has never been any additional legislation concerning the documentary evidence required to enable adjudicators to adequately arbitrate on disputes, but the AIIC is trying to change that.
As part of its ongoing campaign, the trade body has petitioned and lobbied the government, carried out educational talks in London and held a series of meetings with deposit protection and property redress schemes.
The AIIC launched a petition late last year calling for independent inventory reporting to become a compulsory requirement.
The petition, which aimed to encourage the government to consider the benefits of mandatory inventory reporting as part of its plans to increase regulation of the Private Rented Sector, attracted 1,100 signatures.
Danny Zane, chair of the AIIC, said: “We’re knocking on all of the relevant doors to make compulsory inventory reporting a reality in the private rented sector (PRS).
“The importance of impartial check-ins and check-outs taking place at the start and end of each tenancy cannot be underestimated.
“As rents rise and subsequently push up the value of average security deposits, it’s vital that the tenant’s money and landlord’s investment are offered the required protection.
“Of course, even tenancies using zero deposit schemes can end in dispute or with property damage when the tenancy ends.
“Wider adoption of independent inventories will contribute towards fewer deposit disputes, while these documents remain invaluable in the event that a disagreement between landlord and tenant is referred to a deposit protection scheme.”
The AIIC says that as the government increases regulation of the PRS, mandatory inventory reporting must be one of the final pieces of the puzzle.
A ban on upfront letting agent fees charged to tenants as well as a six-week cap on security deposits are due to become law next spring at the earliest, and the rental trade body said legislation around inventory reporting would complement these policies.
Zand added: “In order for the deposit cap to be truly effective, landlords and tenants need to be sure that the money is protected not only by a deposit protection scheme, but by an impartial inventory which provides full details of the property’s condition.
“Moreover, if rents rise due to the ban on fees as expected, then typical damage deposits will increase as a result.
“This means landlords will need to be able to call upon an inventory to prove deductions. At the same time, higher sums of tenants’ money will be at risk and so they will need the assurance that it’s protected by impartiality.”