Making sure your inventories are thoroughly up to scratch is CRITICAL for a smooth end of tenancy process. We spoke to our partner agent B-Hive Living and InventoryBase to learn more about streamlining the inventory process in light of the proposed Mandatory Independent Inventory Petition.
What’s wrong with the current system of inventories?
Inventories inventories inventories, more of a pain in the neck than last minute Christmas shopping. Rather like Christmas shopping, if you don’t get it sorted it’ll come back to bite you, and probably on your bottom (line).
Studies show that if an inventory isn’t carried out properly and thoroughly that it will be very hard for a landlord or agent to claim for damages later. There are also question marks around the current inventory system regarding bias: the AIIC claim that bias exists in the current process against the tenant. All of this uncertainty and room for disagreement only makes the end of tenancy check out a longer and more complicated process, which in turn contributes to a landlord’s worst nightmare: extended void periods.
What do estate agents think?
We were so impressed by an inventory uploaded by our partner agent B-Hive Living, that we spoke to Director Silvia Grattieri to hear how she streamlines her B-Hive’s inventory process using technology.
Silvia told us:
“Inventories can quickly become a big headache…..and in many cases landlords just decide to give up. However, when you put a lot of effort and care in the house you put in the market, you want to make sure tenants respect the fruits of your labour. We specifically design and develop beautiful homes to promote a more convenient, flexible and social way of living for young professionals and entrepreneurs. So we wanted to make sure our investments were long lasting.
This is one of the reasons we opted for online inventories applications. Simply using an app on your phone you can document every single item in your room/house. If you are passionate about photography, it can quickly become your new hobby! You can put as much or as little detail into documentation and everything is available at the click of your phone. You have a system available to allow you to store everything in one place, scale up your inventory process, and share thousands of pictures in just one simple click.
Through a desktop application you can share inventories with your tenants and they can sign and approve them online. Normally it costs around £1 per inventory application. You just need to find the right balance between effort and future return".
What changes are proposed in the Mandatory Independent Inventory Petition? (Hint: the clue is in the name)
The AIIC have taken steps towards trying to improve fairness in inventories for all involved, and to make sure that bias is eradicated from the inventory process. They have started a petition, stating that “independent inventory reporting is the only way to ensure that no biased reports are used”.
What do the inventory professionals have to say?
We met inventory software providers, InventoryBase at the Northwood Conference, and this is what they had to say about the petition.
“It could be argued that should a dispute arise, that an inventory prepared by the landlord or managing agent instead of a non-biased third party may be weighted towards the landlord.
However, an independent inventory clerk will conduct the visit in the interest of all parties involved.
While it can be said that it is the tenant's responsibility to check over and challenge their inventory, they should not be expected to have to conduct a whole inventory themselves. They just need to check the document is fair and complete.
We agree that inventories should be impartial and conducted by an independent third party if it will create a fairer environment for all involved, and bring more trust and credibility to the inventory process.”
Use Reposit to streamline the end of tenancy inventory process
Not only does using Reposit shorten the time it takes for you to let a property, we also speed up your end of tenancy check out process. We’re a fully online web-app with our own in-house technology, so unlike more traditional schemes involving a heap of paperwork, with Reposit it’s simple to upload and share evidence at the end of tenancy.
Once a claim is accepted we aim to pay out within 28 days, a process which could take take up to three months with a standard deposit.