Now no longer just a tool for preventing disputes with tenants focusing on condition or cleanliness, property inventories have become crucial. With home ownership moving increasingly out of the reach of many tenants in the UK, wiser and more assertive tenants who understands their rights as renters are now commonplace within the rental market.
To add further to this, legislation and taxation for rental homes have both become more oppressive and complex. In the last few years, the market has experienced the launch of smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, Right to Rent immigration laws, modifications to Section 21 notices, the overturning of the 10 per cent fair wear and tear rules for landlords and changes to taxation for landlords who invest in the buy to let sector.
Additional recent rules have included the removal of the wear and tear allowance in rental homes, the fitness for human habitation law, the ban on charging fees to tenants and a mandatory minimum EPC certificate rating of E on rental properties. This adds to other legislation already in place for letting agents and landlords which add to their responsibilities, including schemes for rating rental home health and safety, legionella, gas and electrical safety.
The goal of this wide range of legislation is to improve rental housing standards, and make properties safer, in addition to easing the strain of house price inflation.
However, the laws which have been recently implemented could become easier to deal with by completing accurate inventory reports and a thorough and professional property inspection.
When checking in a new tenant, landlords always want to find the property in as good a condition at the end of the tenancy as it was at the beginning. However, occasionally this is not the case. A landlord or letting agent will arrive at the property to find items in disarray or the fabric of the building damaged.
This is a costly and stressful event for landlords, and redecorating or organising repairs can take time, which prevents new tenants occupying the rental property, adding to their financial pressures.
Landlords who find themselves stuck in this situation are often guilty of failing to inspect their rental properties on a regular basis throughout the tenancy. Whether the tenancy duration is six months, 12 months or three years, inspections should be conducted on a regular basis, and should form an important component of your schedule as a landlord. A property inspection helps nip any issues in the bud before they become major problems.
duration is six months, 12 months or three years, inspections should be conducted on a regular basis, and should form an important component of your schedule as a landlord. A property inspection helps nip any issues in the bud before they become major problems.
According to the law, the renter must be present during the inspection, at a prearranged date and time. You cannot just turn up to the property, and an inspection schedule should be included in the tenancy agreement. A property inspection provides the opportunity for you to ensure that the tenant is adhering to the tenancy agreement and the property is being kept clean and in good condition. Inspections are a genuine and legitimate way to ensure that your investment is safeguarded, as well as judging whether any repair is necessary to the property or any items within it.
Creating an inventory report for your rental property ensures not only compliance with new regulations and rules for landlords, but it also provides a checklist for the cleanliness and condition of the home which is signed and approved by the renter.
An inventory report provides evidence that the landlord or letting agent has complied with current legislation and rules, and offers documentation as proof that compulsory compliance measures were in place prior to the tenancy starting. For example, proof can be obtained that the smoke alarms were present, tested and working before the tenant moved into the property, which is crucial in the law for letting a home. However, if signed confirmation was not collected from the agent or landlord, and the tenant, it becomes impossible to prove should batteries be taken from an alarm by the tenant.
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