A recent survey of 500 investment property owners by an independent inventory company claims that just under ten percent of landlords experienced a tenant dispute in 2014 with two thirds opting to settle them in court.
In 58 per cent of the disputes the main cause was damage to property, followed by disagreements over decoration (51 per cent) and cleaning and rent arrears (each on 42 percent).
The key claim is that some landlords are losing disputes because they cannot provide appropriate evidence to show that a tenant has, for example, damaged a property.
The report claims…
“Some landlords are failing to put a letting contract in place, or they have very unfair clauses in the contact. Other landlords don’t conduct an adequate check-in and check-out, or do not keep copies of correspondence with the tenant which could be evidence in a dispute”.
“Tenants in such disputes are usually aware that they have caused actual damage and will try to hide it”.
“If landlords have a thorough and detailed inventory, it will enable both parties to be treated fairly and reasonably. By opening a dialogue with tenants and using an independent inventory provider, disputes can be resolved quicker and without the hassle that is often experienced at the end of a tenancy period”.
Some of the main areas of problems that occur are often down to misinterpretation at the end of a tenancy, gardens, the interiors of garages and sheds, ovens and cookers, washing machines and general cleaning are all high on the list. Having video footage of these problem areas will provide indisputable evidence and help remedy any dispute that may arise.
The best way to avoid a dispute is with a video inventory and schedule of condition report.