The Importance of an Inventory and the Process of Claiming a Deposit.
Monday 7th June, 2021
An inventory and schedule of condition is a vital document in the process of letting a property as it is the only way to evaluate the state of a property at the beginning and end of a tenancy. It is therefore the only way to assess how much disrepair or damage has taken place and how much is attributable to the tenant.
When an inventory is produced it should be as factual as possible and prepared as close to the start of the tenancy as practically possible to ensure a fair and independent assessment of liability for deterioration. It is the landlords responsibility as the one making the claim to prove the damage.
Here at Brightestmove we use a reliable and efficient system to ensure a thorough picture is taken of the condition of the property.
The assessment of damages at the end of a tenancy is something that can be contentious if not handled correctly. We use the same system to carry out check out reports to ensure we are using the same criteria and formula to assess the damages and again this should all be done impartially and fairly.
Allowance for fair wear and tear must be given when assessing damages, it is an obligation placed on the landlord under the tenancy agreement. It is expected that while a tenant lives in the property items will wear out and need replacing.
Fair wear and tear is based on the following factors:
- The number and age of occupants at the property
- The length of tenancy
- The age and condition of items at the start of the tenancy
- The reasonable usage and lifespan to be expected from items
It is our role as agents under our terms of business to assess any damage at the end of a tenancy and to mediate between the landlord and tenant to make an agreement on what can or cannot be claimed.
At Brightestmove we use the Deposit Protection Service to hold and protect all of your deposits.
As an agent we have 30 days from receipt of the deposit to register with the DPS. Once done the deposit will be transferred to the DPS until a tenant moves out.
It is my role to determine the damages (if any) and a cost to put them right and report to the landlord for approval. I would then put this to the tenants for their approval. If both parties agree we can simply make a claim with the DPS for the tenant to approve and money will be returned to each party within a reasonable time scale.
If the tenant does not approve our first job is to see if a compromise can be made. If not a long process then needs to be started.
Once a claim is made through the DPS the tenant has 15 days to approve or reject, if no response is made we can then execute this with a solicitor signature, wait a further 15 days for the tenant to respond before receiving the money.
If at any point the tenant rejects the claim a decision to use the Dispute Resolution Service needs to be made. If this service is used their decision will be binding.
The process for using the Dispute Resolution Service is as follows:
- 14 days are given to both tenant and agent to provide sufficient evidence of the claim
- Once collected it takes two working days to be sent to the adjudicator
- Then is with the adjudicator for a further 28 days. If any queries are raised the length of time can be
- Once the report is complete it takes a further 2-3 working days to be checked and issued.
- Once a decision is recached, the disputed part of the deposit will be distributed within 10 days.
As you can see this process is not short nor should it be taken lightly.
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