An increasing quantity of safety issues are being flagged up in inventory reports completed by inventory clerks, according to the most recent analysis from the AIIC.
Inventory reports are now showing compliance and safety issues inside tenanted properties more than ever before, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has reported. Independent clerks are now effectively reporting and identifying issues in rental properties which could potentially be regarded as criminal offences within the UK.
The AIIC alleges that the recent implementation and introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act has driven a rise in safety and compliance issues which is undeniable. These issues are now being noted by the independent clerks, who are affiliated with the regulatory body.
The chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, Danny Zane, has released a statement confirming that the volume of mandatory inspections and checks has greatly increased during the last decade. From legislation concerning the presence of smoke detectors in the correct places inside a rental property, to ensuring that carbon dioxide and smoke alarms are in good working condition on the day that the tenant moves in, and the presence of valid Gas Safety certificates, the pressure placed on landlords from current laws and rules is immense.
However, when a landlord gives an inventory clerk instructions to conduct an inventory check-in, the homeowner can be provided with solid and indisputable proof that smoke detectors were power tested, present and working at the date that the tenant moved into the property.
Yet some independent inventory clerks are discovering that some properties simply do not tick every required box when it comes to lawful responsibility and habitation rules. Thanks to inventory property management, agents and landlords are extremely grateful to inventory clerks for being able to take note of issues and be on site in order for these problems to be resolved.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act includes many different points and safety features, which must be analysed, examined and checked off the list in order for the tenant to live at the property, and the landlord to remain compliant with the law. This Act bolstered the safety checks contained within the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, which ensured that landlords must maintain and keep utility systems in good working order. This included the basic installations for heating, water and gas. For example, landlords must ensure that wiring and electrical systems are properly maintained, with electrical appliances, fuse boxes, power sockets and switches in good functioning order.
The Homes Act ensures that rented homes are free from hazards which have the potential to cause serious harm, as well as being healthy and safe for tenants. This includes unhealthy or dangerous conditions, such as mould or damp.
In the aftermath of recent tragic events in social housing, such as the Grenfell tower fire, and the subsequent increase in awareness of the risks associated with property which is irresponsibly managed, the importance of safety for tenants is now paramount.
Mr Zane recognises that these events have become a key contributing factor to this rise in the appeal of full, unbiased and independent inventory reporting in the sector. This includes both compliance and safety checks.
Danny Zane also emphasised his resolute opinion that those letting or managing a property would be wise to invest in an independent inventory clerk to conduct the third party check, preferably one who is registered as a member of the AIIC, prior to the start of each tenancy.
He also emphasised that an independent, full inventory report on rental properties is now concerned with much more than the cosmetic appearance of a property. The independent property inventory clerk and inventory property management are a crucial components in the UK rental system, keeping landlords and tenants safe and protected.
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