The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks believe that much more should be done in order to reduce the number of tenancy deposit disputes.
This comes despite the recent improvements recorded in released in figures released earlier this year.
Despite their calls for improvements to be made, the industry body acknowledged that the volume of disputes is low. There were only 28,100 disputes requiring resolution by the three government-recognised protection schemes in the year to March 2016.
These figures came from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which revealed that this number made up just 0.82% of total deposits. However, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks thinks many problems still need addressing.
Data released from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme shows that cleaning disputes featured in 57% of all tenancy deposit claims that it deals with. Damage to either fixtures and fittings were mentioned in 51% of all cases.
Patricia Barber, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, noted: ‘The issues of cleaning-or a lack of it-and damage in rental properties come up time and time again at the end of tenancies and it’s clear that these problems are responsible for a high number deposit disputes that do occur.’
For a number of years, fair wear and tear has been a grey area for both landlords and letting agents, such is the varying nature from case to case. This high level of ambiguity leads to a high number of disputes at the conclusion of an agreement.
As such, the importance of an inventory is of paramount. Alongside being used in evidence in a dispute, an inventory as part of the check in and check out process will greatly help if an issue arises.
Barber continued by saying: ‘If landlords make sure tenants are issued with a detailed and thorough inventory at the beginning of the tenancy, then it’s easier for all parties to determine the condition of the property when the contract finishes. This in turn makes it easier for landlords and tenants to agree on any required deposit deductions which could lead to fewer formal deposit disputes.’