Landlords warned that DIY inventories could cost them dearly

It might be a tempting way to save cash but landlords are being warned that producing their own inventory may see them make common mistakes which could lead to a costly tenant dispute.

The warning comes from Imfuna Let who say that the mistakes are made at tenant check-in and check-out which puts the landlord at greater risk of losing a dispute with their tenant.

The biggest mistake made by landlords who carry out their own inventory check is the lack of detail.

One reason for this is that landlords fail to write a description which details the condition of the property as well as its contents. They also fail to take appropriate photographs as evidence.

Whenever an inventory report is written it should contain a full description of the property’s condition with any damage clearly noted and its location pin-pointed.

Show the property’s damage

By taking photographs of good quality, particularly when printed on A4 or A3 paper, they will show the property’s damage and could prove to be vital evidence.

The founder of Imfuna Let, Jax Kneppers, said: “Landlords have failed to record the condition of bathroom fittings and sinks as well as doors, floorcoverings and skirting and kitchen units.

“If the inventory on the property is not professional and thorough then it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”

He added that many disputes go in favour of the tenant because a landlord does not have the necessary evidence to support a claim for damage.

Without a properly written inventory, he says, landlords will be risking tenant disputes and potentially expensive repair bills.

The firm says that since landlords have switched to digital inventories from analogue, they have seen tenant deposit disputes fall by 300% while their success rate at an adjudication has been boosted by 75%.

Lack of landlord smoke alarm awareness raises concern

Meanwhile, research shows there is still an alarming lack of awareness in the UK’s private rental sector following changes to the laws on carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.

The survey conducted by Spareroom reveals that just 57% of tenants in shared accommodation believe their smoke alarm works.

The research was conducted after new laws came into effect on 1 October.

Property did not have a smoke alarm

However, 15% of tenants said their property did not have a smoke alarm and another 16% were unsure whether their smoke alarm worked.

The survey also reveals that 7% of tenants removed their smoke alarm batteries so were unable to work.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of

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