An interesting story below on Landlordzone from the AIIC supports No Letting Go’s policy of detail first, technology second. Read on……
The use of technology in inventories could end up costing landlords far more than they bargained for, according to The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The perception of inventories by some lettings agents is that inventories can be very long, time-consuming and somewhat of a laborious process, resulting in several landlords and management companies opting for the use of technology in inventories, believing it will save them time and money.
The use of technology in inventories claims to help landlords and management companies to complete inventories in a matter of minutes, with the ability to add large quantities of photographs which can provide evidence in tenancy dispute claims.
In reality, whilst some systems are considerably better than others, most technology, including digital photography, does not allow for the inclusion of sufficient detail to provide indisputable evidence of original condition at the start of a tenancy.
For this reason in many tenancy dispute cases according to The AIIC, the adjudicators have thrown out technology-based inventories, as they cannot deliver the level of detail required which means that the landlord can lose hundreds of pounds in lost cases.
Pat Barber, Chair of The AIIC, comments: “Inventory reports should contain a full description of a property and its contents with details on every bit of damage and its exact location at the start of a tenancy. As an inventory is a binding legal document that provides a complete record of the condition and contents of a property, it is only effective if it is accurate.
“Without an accurate and properly detailed inventory, a landlord has no evidence to prove that the property has been damaged in any way during the tenancy and therefore will find it almost impossible to withhold any deposit money from the tenants.
The AIIC is committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process and works hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories.
The aim of the AIIC is to ensure that every landlord, tenant and agent in the UK is aware of the importance of the inventory process and the benefits of employing an independent, professional inventory clerk.
Nick Lyons commented on the above article saying “No Letting Go believe technology is critical to improve the speed of the inventory, aid in management of paperwork and to help reduce costs, but not at the expense of the detail of an inventory”
An interesting article I received from Tom Entwistle at Landlord Zone.
A landlord has been fined £10,000 for failing to comply with the requirements of two Improvement Notices served by the Council.
Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “I am pleased that the magistrates decided to fine Sandwich Properties Ltd the maximum amount. This company was clearly unable or unwilling to look after their property, and did not have any regard for the safety of tenants.
We always try to work with landlords to improve housing conditions, but where such blatant disregard for tenant safety is evident, we will use every power available to us to ensure that rogue landlords are brought to justice and tenants are provided with the safe living environment that everyone deserves.
We are also committed to protecting the public purse wherever possible, especially in these times of financial constraint. This is why we always charge for the service of Improvement Notices if the deadlines set out within them are not met”.
In 2009, officers of the Housing Regeneration Team visited 102 Grosvenor Place in Margate and found a property containing four flats which contained serious health and safety hazards. There were no fire precautions or safe means of escape and none of the lights in the shared entrance or staircase were working. The property had been neglected and the internal conditions were dirty and dilapidated.
Following enquiries, Sandwich Properties Ltd of Rookwood Road, London, was identified as the freehold owner. Subsequently, the council served enforcement notices on the freehold owner requiring fire safety improvements and suitable lighting within the common areas.
Unfortunately, when officers returned to the premises after the notice deadlines had passed, none of the work had been completed. Attempts were made to try and meet with the company to discuss the situation, but the company ignored the council’s letters.
In a case heard at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday this week (01 February 2011), Sandwich Properties Ltd were found guilty of failing to comply with the notices without reasonable excuse and fined the maximum £5,000 for each offence. The company was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and contribute £100 towards the council’s prosecution costs.
As the lack of artificial lighting presented a considerable risk to the tenants of the property, the council stepped in and installed suitable lighting themselves. The company has been charged with the full cost of this work, together with the cost of officer time and a further administration fee. The company was also charged £911.25 for the council’s expenses associated with service of the original notices. Further action is now being pursued to ensure that the fire safety improvements are made.
If you are an owner of a residential building containing common areas, and would like advice about your health and safety responsibilities, you can contact the Council’s Housing Regeneration Team on 01843 577437 for further information.
Press Release – Thanet District Council: 03 February, 2011
Landlord Dude abandons his hot tub to discuss keeping inventory in his work van. Broadcasting from the back of his maintenance work vehicle, Paul Dizmang shows you what it takes to stay organized in property management. Visit his web site at www.getpaul.com for more information or to rent property in Springfield, MO!
No Letting Go release more discovery dates for people wanting to get involved in the property inventory management industry.
Discovery Day Dates – 2010/2011:
Tuesday 24th August London
Thursday 30th September Birmingham
Wednesday 27th October London
Thursday 25th November Manchester
Tuesday 18th January Bristol
Thursday 17th February London
Contact No Letting Go at www.nolettinggo.co.uk or on 0845 659 9980 for more information on our inventory franchises throughout the UK