Information for Agents
Having a professional inventory and schedule of condition is essential in order to protect your client’s interests.
If you make arrangements on your client’s behalf to have an inventory drawn up – whether ‘in-house’ or outsourced to an independent inventory provider you have a duty of care to ensure that the document produced is fit for purpose. In the event a landlord’s claim for the deposit fails, you, the agent, could be held liable if it was due to the inventory not coming up to the required standard.
There are may examples on the website of the TDS, http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/ under ‘case studies’ which demonstrate how their decision was based on the information, or lack of information, contained in the inventory and check in documentation.
In-house inventories or outsourced?
This will entirely depend upon the agent’s resources to carry out these tasks using staff members or indeed whether there are any experienced independent inventory providers in their area. There are pros and cons to using either method.
It is important that the inventory, if being done in house, is not left as a ‘last minute rush job’ or to an untrained member of staff.
Whichever the agent chooses, they should ensure that the inventory is carried out to an acceptable standard, in the required time frame and with consistency.
Consistency needs to be demonstrated not only in terms of content and description, but in the format of compilation so that all the parties concerned are able to understand the document.
In addition sufficient and adequate description and disclaimers must be added to protect the agent and to establish what the inventory provider is, and more importantly, isn’t liable for.
All of the above forms part of the knowledge criteria for candidates applying to become members of APIP.
How can having the inventory provider qualified help my business?
The course provided leads to the delegates taking the competency test and receiving an award which will demonstrate they have succeeded in reaching the standard required and can work to the subscribed best practice criteria. This, of course, will reflect on the agent as one that aspires to be the best in their field.
Importantly a properly compiled and detailed inventory and check out document will provide a valuable tool in the event of the matter being passed to an adjudicator
For more information on the courses and how to register for the qualification please click here.
For further information about ARLA- The Association of Residential Letting Agents, please visit the website; www.arla.co.uk