Independent inventory clerks key in bypassing tenant landlord disputes

Published on 10th December 2018 by Laura West

The AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks) has reminded letting agents, landlords and tenants that a key justification for engaging an independent inventory clerk is their ability to act independently from all parties involved. Inventory clerks, especially those belonging to a professional association, take pride in their neutrality between agent, landlord and tenant, according to the chairman of AIIC, Danny Zane, an organisation which likes to know what drives their members and benefits their businesses.

By being independent, inventory clerks can conduct their businesses in an impartial, fair and professional manner. As experts in the industry, they understand that some landlords use their property portfolios as pension pots rather than professional businesses and that a tenant’s personal circumstances or financial situation may change. Therefore, in some occurrences, inventory clerks may be put under some pressure by the tenant or landlord to make changes to the inventory report, with the possibility of threats or verbal abuse if changes that a party requests are not carried out. However, inventory clerks understand that their reputation is at stake if they are discovered to be at fault, so they strive to offer a reliable and credible service.

In most circumstances, tenants, agents and landlords have seven days to raise any inaccuracies or omissions in their report with the clerk. If there are disagreements on the fair wear and tear or damage reported by the clerk, then the party should contact the clerk in writing to request a clarification. Inventory clerks are unbiased and independent and are, therefore, willing to listen to either party. It is vital that all the parties involved be present at check-outs and check-ins at the property if possible, but the inventory clerk also has to have the freedom to conduct their job thoroughly and accurately. Any questions from the parties to understand the why, when, what and who can be presented to the clerk once the report has been compiled.

Inventory clerks often spend time discussing issues with the parties and are happy to go that extra mile to help reduce or remove the chances of a dispute. They understand that occasionally parties view things differently, so there is a redress scheme and formal complaints process in the event of a break down in dialogue between one of the parties and the clerk. However, in most cases, all parties involved do acknowledge and accept the independent and unbiased inventory report produced by a clerk, which allows tenants, agents and landlords to begin and end a tenancy on good terms.

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