If evidence were needed that traditional paper based property inventories are failing, it can be found in Letting Agent Today this week. They ran an article about The Deposit Protection Service, who have so far protected £1.1 Billion of tenants deposits since the service was launched in 2007.
Of the 9,000 or so deposit dispute adjudications that the DPS has dealt with, 41.5% were found wholly in favour of the tenant and a further 39.4% were split awards. This leaves just 19.1% of cases found wholly in favour of the Landlord, which is an extremely poor return given the cost and time taken by landlords to prepare for the adjudication process.
The figures do, however, demonstrate that the system is working. A growing number of tenants are now having their deposits returned when, presumably, they would have had great difficulty in securing reimbursement in the past. The figures also clearly highlight that tenants are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that adjudicators correctly view the deposit as belonging to them and not the landlord. The onus of proof is therefore very much on landlords who don’t appear to have stepped up and learned what is required of them under the new system, despite it being in place for nearly four years.
Our experience shows that the more experienced and professional the landlord is, the more likely they are to ensure their property is protected by using the best independently produced inventories available. Our recent growth in video inventories has come from both private landlords and from very experienced institutional property investors and property managers, who understand the need to protect their investments.
If you’re in London next Tuesday, please come and see us, alongside the Residential Landlords Association at the London & South East Landlords Day – we’re on stand 20.