Frequently Asked Questions
Would an adjudicator consider an in-house inventory to be biased in favour of the landlord?
No, the adjudicator would rely on a professionally drawn up inventory whether conducted by an outsourced inventory provider or one drawn up by someone from within the agency. Their main concern is that the inventory is sufficiently detailed to be able to show wear or damage at the end of the term. One of the benefits of membership is that it confirms the professionalism and integrity of the person completing the inventory. Members should be seen to be fair and objective in their preparation at both the start and finish of the tenancy.
How are inventories drawn up by the landlord considered?
It is considered that the landlord is likely to be more biased when drafting an inventory on their own property. However if it was as detailed as a professional inventory and had been agreed by the tenant at the time of the check in it would stand as evidence subject to the tenant confirming acceptance at the check out. Again clarity would be key to this exercise. It is important that the tenant has fair opportunity to make relevant response to the condition of items at both the start and finish of the tenancy and that every effort is made to reach agreement between the parties and thus the clarity of the document
How important are photographs in an inventory?
Photographs are useful to give examples of the overall condition of a property however they cannot replace the written inventory. A photograph of damage at the end of the tenancy will be considered but unless there was a photograph of the same item at the start it cannot be completely relied upon because digital photographs can be altered. If a photograph was attempting to identify a stain on a carpet for example, it would add meaning to place an everyday item adjacent to indicated the size of the stain.
Best practice would be to have any photographs dated and signed by the tenant as a sign of acceptance .
How would the inventory provider being a member of APIP help me?
In order to be able to use title ‘MAPIP’ after their names the inventory provider must have been able to prove that they understand the requirements of best practice in relation to not only drawing up the inventory but also the associated processes of the check in and check out. The Code of Practice that they are required to adhere to includes maintaining adequate insurances for public liability and professional indemnity and to promote best practice in the lettings industry. An agent choosing to have an accredited member working in conjunction with them will reflect on the standards to which the agency aspires.
How would the inventory provider being a member of APIP help the landlord or tenant?
The landlord and tenant can be confident that the description of the property and its condition both at the start and end of the tenancy will be made by someone who has undergone training and assessment and who understands the importance of unbiased and detailed notations. The APIP member is required to comply with a Code of Practice and in the event of the agent or a landlord or tenant not being happy with the service received they are able to make a formal complaint to the Association
Once someone achieves membership of APIP is there any ongoing monitoring by the Association of the member?
The member is required to renew their membership on an annual basis. At this point they must provide evidence of current insurance cover for both pubic liability and professional indemnity. In addition they will be required to attend a set number of hours training per year on subjects relevant to their profession or attendance at relevant seminars. In the event of complaints being upheld by the Association against a member then the Association has the right to withdraw membership. The Association also reserves the right to ask, at any time to see copies of inventories which have been prepared by the member
How will I know whether my inventory provider has APIP membership?
Each member will be given a unique membership number which they are required to put on the inventory together with their name. In the event of a query, membership numbers can be verified on the APIP website.
What type of knowledge or experience must an inventory provider have in order to obtain membership?
Before an inventory provider can become an accredited member they must be able to prove to the Association’s satisfaction that they have had at least six months practical experience of carrying out all the processes relating to the inventory preparation as well as the check in and check out. Following this they can either elect to take the test following an advanced course or can opt to take a the introductory full days training and then the advanced course and the test. An experienced inventory provider may opt to go straight to the examination.
What format does this assessment take?
The paper will comprise a number of multi choice questions in which candidates will have 40 minutes to complete. The paper covers all aspects of the processes relating to inventory preparation, the check in and check out as well as questions based on best practice. The pass mark is 70%.
Non housing act and assured tenancies don’t need to have the deposit protected so do they still need to have professionally drawn up inventories?
Yes, a professional and detailed inventory will be needed in order to assess whether damage has occurred no matter what type of tenancy agreement is in place. Some of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes will cover those types of tenancies under their Alternate Dispute Resolution service. Disputes will still arise with these types of tenancies and the inventory will by required as evidence by either an arbiter or the courts to allow an adjudication to be made.
My landlord is reluctant to pay for the inventory to be updated when they have a new tenancy – can they refuse to have this done?
Most landlords are concerned to be able to make a claim against the tenant for any legitimate damage that the tenant is liable for. Whilst the tenancy agreement provides for the tenant to pay for damage if the matter cannot be proven and the tenant denies damage then the landlord will not be able to uphold their claim. An out of date inventory will not necessarily be considered as evidence.
Is it a legal requirement to have an inventory?
No. However the landlord will be unable to prove damage to a property without an inventory if the matter was disputed. Cases are now being processed where the landlord is failing to get any compensation where the evidence is insufficient.
How do I apply for membership either on my behalf or on behalf of my inventory provider?
Please refer to the full details in 'Join' section of this website.
Who can use the APIP logo
Who can use the APIP logo ?
If you are member of APIP and a principal partner or director of your company, your company will be able to use the APIP logo on all marketing material.
If you are an individual employee member, please remember that you can only use the logo on your personal stationary such as business card.
Students cannot use the logo until they become full members.