Landlords still Risk Deposit Disputes with Substandard Inventories

27 July 2012 Categories: News

Landlords still Risk Deposit Disputes with Substandard Inventories

Research carried out by Total Landlord Insurance, a member of the Landlord syndicate, has found that over half of the landlords surveyed were familiar with the deposit dispute process because they had been through it with a tenant in the past, and that 88% of these landlords instigated the dispute process because of cleanliness and not perceived damage to property – a clause that is rarely included in inventories compiled by the landlord rather than a professional clerk.

This common oversight undoubtedly leaves thousands of landlords with cleaning bills following the departure of a tenant, and highlights the need for a full inventory and Schedule of Condition at the start of any tenancy.

Nick Lyons, the co-founder of inventory management company, No Letting Go, commented on the research saying, “We always say that the outcome of a deposit dispute is determined at the beginning of the tenancy and so clear documentary evidence on the condition of the property is critical in order to overcome, for example, differing expectations of what constitutes clean.”

He then went on to say that landlords often mistakenly think that clerk-written inventories involve a large financial outlay but that the average one-bedroom apartment can be fully documented for as little as £70 – which is a small price to pay where large deposits are at stake.