Inventory service provider No Letting Go says letting agents operating in the student letting market should encourage landlords and tenants to give more attention to the inventory and check-in process.
It says that with many students returning to university accommodation for the first time since March, a well-executed inventory can help to protect landlords’ properties and students’ tenancy deposits.
The check-in process documents the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy. It can also be used to confirm smoke and carbon monoxide alarm installation, carry out legionella risk assessments and ensure properties comply with key elements of the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
Nick Lyons, Founder and CEO of No Letting Go, comments: “Although the student experience will be very different this year, the rental process will be largely the same.
“Landlords and agents need to make sure a thorough inventory and check-in process is carried out, while tenants need to assess the documentation carefully and only sign it off when they are happy.”
According to No Letting Go, a fully electronic check-in process can also save time and money for letting agents and landlords, while also appealing to modern renters.
Lyons says: “Thanks to technology, the days of tenants needing to physically attend check-in are long gone.
“Most student renters are likely to want to carry out as much of the rental process as possible from their smartphones, so being able to view and sign-off an inventory online has become increasingly popular.”
By using an electronic check-in process, tenants can make comments and add their own photos before agreeing to the inventory report.
It also allows agents and landlords to automate the chasing of signatures, saving time on administration.
Since the property market reopened in mid-May, No Letting Go has provided its services with a ‘no contact’ policy in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Lyons explains: “We still all need to do our bit to prevent the spread of the virus, which is why we’re limiting contact through automation and electronic signatures.
“We have been offering this service for a number of years as it is the most efficient way to complete a comprehensive inventory check-in which suits all parties.
“As students return to a new university landscape, it’s important they feel safe and secure with the opportunity to limit contact with others when finalising their tenancies.
“However, it’s vital that the process is still carried out professionally and thoroughly so that tenants are aware of how they must return the property to the landlord, reducing the chances of deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy,” he adds.
Lyons concludes: “It’s important that agents and landlords continue to reassure renters that they won’t be disadvantaged by not attending a check-in at the start of the tenancy, mid-term inspections and check-outs at the end of their tenancy if they are carried out by an independent third party.
“The check-in, mid-term inspection, and check-out process can now all be carried out with zero contact while still maintaining independence and protecting tenants and landlords.”