Greater risk of disputes as 65 % of landlords carrying out …

Research revealed in a live broadcast on, a live web TV show providing advice and guidance forGreater risk of disputes as 65 % of landlords carrying out landlords, has found that 65 percent of landlords carry out their own ‘schedule of condition’ inventories, which experts say is exposing them to greater risk of deposit disputes.

The independent survey carried out by Total Landlord Insurance, members of the Landlord Syndicate, found that over half of landlords have experienced a dispute over the return of the deposit when their tenant comes to move out, with 88 percent saying the most common grievance is cleanliness.

In addition to having a tenancy agreement, the importance of ensuring other formal agreements and procedures are in place, such as an inventory and schedule of condition, have been highlighted. Nick Lyons, co-founder and Managing Director of inventory management company, No Letting Go, says “We always say that the outcome of a deposit dispute is determined at the beginning of the tenancy and so clear documentary evidence on the condition of the property is critical in order to overcome, for example, differing expectations of what constitutes clean.”

The perception that inventories are an expensive procedure is thought to be the deterrent for many landlords who choose to carry out their own.  In actual fact, the average cost for a one bedroom property, which can vary from region to region, is approximately £70 and interestingly, results found that 65 percent of landlords recognise that an inventory is the most important form of evidence in the event of a dispute.

Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive of Total Landlord Insurance and my|, says “landlords and tenants need to recognise that inventories and check-in/check-out reports are of equal advantage to landlords and tenant.  They aid communication at the end of the tenancy and help settle disputes and reduce the chance of a formal dispute through a tenancy deposit protection scheme.”

One caller to the live show asked if a clause could be written into a tenancy agreement stating the tenant must pay for the check-out procedure themselves.  Nick Lyons responded saying “this is possible, as long as the tenant is aware that this fee will be deducted and that the fee is reasonable. Transparency and clarity is key.”

Eddie adds “For a landlord to write a generic contract is dangerous.  The more detailed the inventory is, the less ambiguity at the end of the tenancy and therefore the more likely a settlement on the deposit is made quickly.  Having an impartial and qualified inventory clerk carry this out means there is less opportunity for either party to dispute the documentation.”

Landlords were also reminded that an inventory is not only for a furnished property or one with a high value rent.  “Most deposit disputes are caused by cleanliness related issues or damage to fixtures and fittings related to standard, unfurnished buy to let properties” concludes Nick.

To watch a repeat of the live show, please visit


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