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In response to the joint publication by TDS – guidance on the check-in and check-out process for tenants; Siān Hemming-Metcalfe; Head of Training & Development for InventoryBase Academy commented; ‘It’s pleasing to finally see Inventories being highlighted and discussed so openly rather than just within the forums and groups I belong to’.

Siān says that the guidance has been broadly welcomed as there has been a real lack of structure and guidance for the inventory industry and with that an understanding of what the deposit schemes want and need from reports.

‘From the moment I entered the world of inventory reporting I’ve been trying to raise the standards of inventories as I find the level of detail, quality and formats vary wildly from region to region and is often guided by price rather than the ability to safeguard the landlord or tenant’ Siān says.

With the tenant fee ban now in force; a recent question posed during a webinar was how do inventory clerks remain impartial if the landlord / agent are the ones paying for the report? Surely that makes them technically biased?

Siāns view is that; ‘you have to take the emotion out of the reporting process and focus on the information in front of you. Evidence what you can see and state the facts as they can be proved’.

Whilst Siān agrees with David Cox; CEO ARLA Propertymark that “the sector must not underestimate the importance of a thorough inventory’ the difficulty is getting those that need it most to understand the real value of a comprehensive and robust report.

Although both ARLA Propertymark and AIIC promote their respective associations; Siān feels that ‘as an industry we need to concentrate our efforts on supporting and training all clerks to compile and deliver quality reports and include them more in the wider industry as they have a wealth of knowledge and skills that are a major asset for landlords and agents’.

As mentioned by David Cox; ‘now the tenant fees ban is here agents need to take an evidence-based approach to default fees, damages and disputes; and so Siān wants to see the lobbying of Government to make inventory and checkout reports mandatory and not just a component of the lettings process.