The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has reiterated that by holding a simple conversation, landlords and tenants could avoid entering a formal tenancy deposit dispute.
According to the AIIC, if a tenant contacts landlords to discuss any issues concerning deposit-deductions, the chances of an eventual formal dispute by one of the government-approved tenancy deposit schemes is greatly reduced.
Recently, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme published its annual report, which showed that the total number of disputes lodged with the firm rose by 25% in the last 12 months.
Further data released by mydeposits indicate that during the last 12 months, 30% of initial disagreements did not go forwards to the Alternative Dispute Resolution. This underlines the importance of increased communication between all parties.
Yearly, the number of disputes are rising, with the AIIC warning that if this figure is to fall, the importance of communication is paramount.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme also indicates that cleaning (58%) and damage (52%) were the two most common reasons for disputes. Rent arrears made up just 10% of issues.
‘It is disappointing that disputes seem to be on the rise,’ noted Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC. ‘There are easy steps to follow to ensure that both parties are protected and the chance of an end of tenancy dispute is minimised. Aside from the tenancy agreement, protecting a property by having a fully detailed inventory is vital,’ she added.
Continuing, Barber said, ‘tenants must have a copy of this document on the day they move in to enable them check and agree the contents. This signed document can then be used at time of check out, it is very difficult for a tenant to argue against such firm evidence of check in condition. Should a dispute occur a simple conversation between the landlord and the tenant really could make all the difference.’
Communication vital in avoiding disputes
Barber believes that, ‘the increased frequency of damage and cleaning disagreements highlights the value of a property detailed inventory carried out by an independent inventory clerk. The deposit protection schemes may place more weight on an inventory that is complied by an inventory professional rather than the landlord.’
‘An independently complied inventory will comprehensively detail the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. Therefore, it can become an invaluable resource at the end of the tenancy and really could contribute towards avoiding a formal deposit dispute,’ she concluded.