Government facing calls for mandatory independent inventory checks to protect tenants from ‘biased reports’

The Government is being urged to introduce mandatory independent inventory checks after the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) claimed it is seeing increasing cases of tenants signing biased reports.

The trade body claims tenants in some situations are unaware that it is the landlord or agent conducting the inventory check.

Danny Zane, vice-chairman of the AIIC, claims independent inventories offer protection for all sides and help to reduce the number of deposit disputes.

The parliamentary petition, uploaded in Zane’s name on behalf of the AIIC, says: “Independent inventory reporting of privately rented properties on an assured shorthold tenancy should be a mandatory requirement.

“Independent inventories offer protection and help to reduce the number of deposit disputes.

“Please support this petition and help us make the letting process more transparent for all.”

It cites figures claiming that a third of 2,500 tenants have their deposit withheld and 68% believe their landlord didn’t provide good enough reason to do so, while 40% of students lose more than a third of their deposit and 79% do not sign a photo inventory when they move in.

Zane added: “Full protection should be offered to all parties within the letting process, and independent inventory reporting is the only way to ensure that no biased reports are used.

“This will also enable the Government’s tenancy deposit scheme to have sufficient impartial evidence to enable them to adequately adjudicate should there be a dispute.

“We have seen more and more evidence of tenants being made to sign biased reports in return for their keys, mostly unaware that the inventory report is compiled by a landlord, agent or source that is not third party or unbiased.”

The petition has been backed by inventories provider No Letting Go.

Nick Lyons, chief executive of No Letting Go, said: “Independent inventory providers have a duty of care to protect the interests of both landlords and tenants alike.

“The Government has introduced legislation to protect tenants, but with no real effective means to monitor it.

“The introduction of a compulsory combined inventory and compliance report for all let properties compiled by trained, independent professionals will help ensure that landlords meet their legal responsibilities and assist the Government and Trading Standards to police the requirement to protect tenants.”

The petition, which runs until April 30, currently has just over 500 signatures.

It requires 10,000 for a Government response and 100,000 for a parliamentary debate.


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  1. Ryan Baker

    the way things are going the successive governments would revert in giving incentives to landlords for buy to rent properties and would need to come up with drastic measures…already the tax on rented properties coupled with high stamp duty and after the fees ban, landlords having to pay agents more per letting, many landlords are planning to throw in the towel and move on to something that’s more profitable.Most are moving onto the development side and this would make the houses more expensive and the asking rents to rise. Tenant fee ban will prove to be the final nail. A fee cap where everyone knew what they were going to pay , be paid and what profit to make etc would have made things good for all. I see tenants being rejected by many agents and misery all along. There would be more frustrations at all ends. Most agents are now planning to charge one month’s rent from landlord as a letting fee. This will invariably increase rents and be counter productive for tenants in the long run. gumtree scammers would be on the rise as some landlords would try to let out properties on such sites. The Right to rent & Anti money laundering checks (which the home office and HMRC are supposed to be doing) have been thrusted upon. Doing all that work and you don’t get paid by the tenant who is part of the deal. All tenants don’t necessarily mean that they aren’t well off or can’t afford a house. Some are wiser and have invested their moneys elsewhere and making more than the rent they’re paying ! Better place to live in with less tax to buy too.Yes competition will bring down the price for landlords but it will have its costs. Overall it wouldn’t be for the betterment of the industry in the long run. Turns out how the elite who decide the fate of our generations know near nothing how it’s difficult living on minimum wages. More redundancies, more jobs losts and a new way for some to set up referencing firms where the tenant will ultimately have to go before finding a property. There should have been a percentage cap on the rental value of the properties and the duration of agreement  in terms of fees. The ones renting expensive properties to have paid more and the less fortunate ones would have had to pay lesser fees accordingly. A person who can afford to pay £2000 a month as rent is more than capable of paying a one off fee of £500whereas a relatively poorer customer who’s on a £400 budget would have had to pay just £100 

  2. Ryan Baker

    We want rules in place for Agents too. Pass a law that this amount of % of rent would be the letting fee. Irrespective of who pays!

  3. janeearley

    I agree with inventories being independent and we have always used a third party provider. BUT   I had been considering bringing our inventories ‘in house’ to cut costs after the tenant fee ban. If this is successful will we be able to charge  the tenant half the cost of an independent inventory? I doubt it!


    1. PattieB87

      No matter who provides Inventories – independent or in house they must be up to standard with sufficient detail to be used safely in any dispute. All the dispute schemes need is firm evidence to prove a case, the reason why so many landlords fail in their claim is because of poor evidence and unrealistic expectations. As former Chair of the AIIC and now Chairman of the National Association of Inventory Professionals we are realistic enough to know that Inventories will always be provided by people other than independents due to cost. As long as everyone involved has the knowledge and training to produce a detailed unbiased inventory all parties are protected.

  4. NDS790

    A classic example of lobbying for your own vested interest

    with tenant fees fees coming in – inventory clerks are going to see a reduction in work (someone has to pay them after all!!!) – so what better way to drum up business than lobby the government to make it mandatory

    we do inventories in-House and have very few disputes (less than 1% go to the Dispute Services’s)


  5. TheLettingsGuy

    Please provide proof of this bias.

    If 68% believe deductions were incorrect then go to arbitration – that is what it is there for.

    79% do not sign an inventory with photos. So what? Inventories do not need to include photos, a detailed description is sufficient.

    You have provided proof of nothing.


  6. Will


  7. proagent54

    Utter nonsense, inventory companies will be (quite rightly) worried that they will be out of business once the TF ban comes in and are looking for a way to protect their business in the same way we need to protect ours. Maybe they should have been more vocal about the TF ban in the first place

  8. RosBeck73

    An incredible bit of self-interest here. They’ve been getting quite a bit of publicity. Hopefully it will fall on deaf ears. With the charges attached to these processes for some properties in cheaper areas this would eat up the equivalent of the deposit. As usual it will be landlords who are expected to pay as tenants must be charged no fees.

  9. proper21

    Interesting angle

    We’ve used this franchise and found them to be not great.

    they won’t read water meters – despite saying they will do, thus necessitating a further, entirely unnecessary  property visit by a member of Agency staff ( at a cost to our business) in addition to their (ratgepoor)paid service.

    We’ve always outsourced for all the right reasons and never had a dispute in the 20 years we’ve been in business.

    This is due to the very time intensive system we have in place at tenancy end.

    Tenants have seven days to report any discrepancies in an inventory at the start of a Tenancy and if 79% of students choose to go out on the lash and not do that that is  entirely  their affair, and should not be used as yet another stick to beat private landlords with.

    It’s ironic that the people who dream this stuff up clearly don’t understand the industry and tenants will not only  end up paying higher rents,  but the very end of the market that the government seek to ‘protect’ will be the worst hit as landlords cream off the top 10% of every 10 tenants that apply for each property, thus  making getting a roof over your head infinitely more difficult for anybody who is not the perfect tenant






  10. Woodentop

    So someone with a camera can take the same picture, call it different and charge me. NUTS!


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