Poor inventories 'costing landlords £12 million a year'

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert July 12, 2010 11:14

Poor inventories are costing UK property landlords some £12 million a year in lost claims as a lack of prepared evidence works against them in the event of a deposit dispute, according to the industry. Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS) in 2007, the onus has been firmly with the landlord to prove their case. However as a result of improperly prepared inventories and lack of proper evidence, landlords now have less than a 1 in 10 chance of winning a dispute, it is claimed.
In 2009 there were 23,500 deposit disputes, a figure which is growing exponentially each year. Within the same period, 92%of these cases found in favour of the tenant, costing landlords an estimated £12 million in lost claims, according to the Video Inventory Agency.
While the TDPS is vital to protect tenants, the residential property market has been ‘consistently undermined’ by incomplete or sub-standard inventories, says founder Frazer Fearnhead.
‘When it comes to inventories, landlords have traditionally got away with the bare minimum. In my time I have seen inventories that have been scribbled on the back of an envelope. However, since 2007, the balance of power has swung in favour of the tenant. This is positive since many would-be cowboys have been pushed out of the market. However, it also means that law abiding landlords are losing money unnecessarily,’ he explained.
He launched TVIA after an incomplete photographic inventory on one of his own properties meant there was no evidence to corroborate a deposit dispute. He resolved to protect the property community and this aim continues today.
TVIA offers state of the art video inventories that have been designed to protect landlords’ assets. Using similar practices to police standard operating procedures for filming crime scenes, each written inventory produced by TVIA is supported by high definition video evidence that has been designed to stand up in court.
As official partner to the Residential Landlords Association, TVIA is now urging landlords to pay more attention to inventories in a bid to protect their assets by recording the condition of their rental property and its contents.
‘Video inventories are watertight and cost effective. A visual record speaks volumes and it is clear from our work that video inventories are the future for the industry. To minimise disputes, adjudicators need to have as much information as possible to help prove a case. With video content, there is no room for debate,’ added Fearnhead.
One year after its launch TVIA, provides video inventories for clients such as Winkworth, Belvoir Lettings, Watersons and Martin & Co whilst franchisees deliver evidential solutions for over 200 letting agents, property managers and landlords throughout the country

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert July 12, 2010 11:14

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