Landlord News,Lettings News

Property inventories important for lettings compliance and regulation

Em Morley - April 5, 2022

Inventory specialist No Letting Go is warning landlords and letting agents about the importance of inventories for ensuring rental homes are fully compliant.

The firm highlights the growing push for more compliance and regulation, including the possibility of a landlord register being introduced and a new Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector being implemented. It argues that inventories play a key role in preventing poorly maintained properties from being allowed onto the market in the first place.

Nick Lyons, CEO of No Letting Go, comments: “Inventories can act as a great barrier against non-compliance – being that first block to prevent unfit homes from entering the market.

“A good inventory, carried out by a trained inventory specialist, can help highlight any potential issues with a property, and ensure homes are fully habitable and decent from the off.

“As part of the government’s plans for widespread rental reform – the largest reforms in a generation – there are proposals for a Decent Homes Standard in the PRS, in the same way there currently is for social housing, and also other measures aimed at clamping down on rogue operators. We all have a responsibility to make sure housing is decent and high-quality, as the rental market continues to grow, and inventories can play a key role in that.” 

Lyons says there is a huge amount of regulation out there for letting agents and landlords to adhere to, and this is ever-growing, but remaining compliant remains of vital importance. 

He continues: “We see plenty of news stories surrounding non-compliance, and the danger of it in terms of large fines and even prison sentences, but there are still a minority of agents and landlords who seek to get away with it.

“We know this is still only a small minority, but that minority gives the whole industry a bad name and drags the reputation of agents and landlords through the mud.” 

Landlords and letting agents can use inventories to help show the condition of a property before, during and after a tenancy, highlighting that they have nothing to hide. 

Lyons concludes: “Landlords and agents looking to break the rules or be non-compliant may want to sidestep the inventory process, which shows just how vital it is for a well-regulated, fully functioning market.

“The vast majority of landlords and agents will now carry an inventory out – it’s become standard industry practice – but we can’t get complacent or rest on our laurels.

“Inventory specialists may be able to spot the hidden defects and problems that an agent or landlord hasn’t considered, and feed this back to the client. This could lead to remedial action being taken to make sure the home is looking its best.

“The Levelling Up White Paper, which is expected to be backed up by the White Paper on Rental Reform at some point this spring, has made the direction of travel quite clear in terms of compliance and rooting out rogue operators, but implementation might be slow. In the meantime, inventories can still continue to be a terrific blockade against substandard homes making it onto the market.”