Association of Independant Inventory Clerks

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Hertfordshire Inventories

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Hertfordshire Inventories

July 19, 2012 Bloggies by danny

Inventory reporting in Hertfordshire and Greater London seems to be growing in demand. We have had many new Hertfordshire Letting Agents come on board with us over the past 6 months. In general Hertfordshire Property Inventory bookings are becoming a large part of our business. Great news for Landlords and Tenants alike as the Property Inventory will protect both parties, so long as a regulated and un-bias company such as My Property Inventories carry out the Inventory report.

We now have 16 Inventory clerks ready to work hard to meet the needs of our Letting Agents, Landlords and Tenants. They are trained in the hows and whys of carrying out precise Inventory Reports that will record all details. So if you’re a Hertfordshire based Letting Agent, Landlord or Tenant consider the issues that can arise if you don’t get a professional Inventory Report carried out for you.

How we do it

Once you request to have us have an inventory of your property, we send our team of experienced inventory clerks. The number of clerks to do the job will depend on the size of your property. Since we always want to do things on time, the team we send to you is usually enough to do the entire work and give you a quality report in the shortest duration. You do not have to worry about the credibility of the clerks as they perfect the work as per A.I.I.C.

The clerks will do the following

  • Get the initial inventory. This is the time when the tenant is moving into the building. Our clerks will inspect every part of the building even the slightest feature that others may consider insignificant. While doing the inspection, they record all information concerning the different features of the property as inspected. The information is detailed enough as it gives descriptions of the same.
  • Take photographs together with the descriptions given regarding the properties. Photos are as essential as they will be required in identifying discrepancies during damage assessment. They should be taken however with skill so as to be clear and show all the described features. Vague pictures would almost render efforts made in taking the inventory useless as there would be no clear proof.
  • Write a report on the inventory. With the skills they have in inventory after working for so many companies and landlords, they will provide you with an excellent and detailed report about the state and value of your property. The report will be available to you within no time after completion of the inventory. There is the utmost assurance on its quality and accuracy as we believe in our time
  • Checkout inventory. Upon your information or request at the end of the tenancy, our clerks will be on it again to assess the property once more. This time is to take a revision of the initial inventory to see any changes as may be caused by wear and tear or damage by the tenant. It is a step by step though it will not take long before you know the new state of the property.

With the available photos on the initial state of the property, comparisons are done and then the damage will be evident if at all it is there.

If there is no damage, the tenant is able to get the entire deposit amount given to the landlord and there are damages seen after the assessment, the damage is charged on the deposit held by the landlord and if any amount is remaining it will be given back to the tenant.

How Hertfordshire has benefited from inventories

We already mentioned that with inventories especially from us, both parties i.e. The landlord and tenant will benefit this mutual benefit comes about due to the quality report which will be used to settle any disagreements. Whether in Hertfordshire or outside London, it will benefit you as well.

Some of the key areas of advantage are;

  • Dispute settlement

Many tenants will tell you that they have had rough times with some of their landlords. This arises especially when it is time to check out of the building for a new occupier to come in. Many landlords cause issues as they do not want to pay back the deposit.

 

This is actually the main reason why many countries besides UK have come up with protection schemes to handle disputes of this kind.

 

Having kept proper inventory plus photographic evidence will serve as a proof of the real damage caused by the tenant if it is at all there. If discrepancies do not appear during assessment, landlords should leave it at that and refund the deposit. They are also told not to charge common and insignificant changes like small scratches on the wall for you as a landlord will never expect to get your house in the same state before you rented it whatsoever.

 

  • Insurance

Insurers are the protectors of the assets you own. They bring back what you have lost back to life. This however only happens if you present this insurer a proper inventory document that will show your asset values and status. If you want them to settle a claim for, then you better have the inventory ready because believe me, they will not assent to your claim minus a quality and accurate inventory report on your property. They will obviously need this report or document since there is no clear list of the affected property and who ever said people could just listen to empty oral assertions?

 

  • Protection of property and sealing of the agreement between tenant and landlord

The tenant should ascertain and ensure inventory has been kept so as to get to know the state and value of the property. This will seal the agreement and for that matter the landlord is also safe knowing that the tenant will take care of the property like a child since they know they will be charged in case of any discrepancies during assessment.

Landlords and Inventory Reports

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Landlords and Inventory Reports

July 18, 2012 Bloggies by danny

As Landlords are becoming more aware of the importance of a detailed third party inventory more and more Letting Agents are instructing and using Inventory companies.

The public on the whole seem to be becoming concerned about moving into a property or having a tenant move into a property without a proper and concise Inventory Report to be signed and agreed.

Out Inventory reports, as featured in the Daily Mail, are very precise and drawn up n an easy to understand manner that will stand up in a dispute situation.

Be warned of moving into a property or moving people into a property without call an reputable Inventory Company first.

An inventory company will help you as a landlord to have an inventory of your property taken. Advantages of inventories are far many  than landlords may even know. They then need to have it taken and a report produced on the same.

When the property is rented to another party by the property owner, they get always insecure. Questions always are how is the current state of the property and how has it been affected by the occupier? The separation leaves the owners unsecure regarding their property and to get a mechanism to assist the landlords keep track of their property. Inventory companies can assist answer such questions as their services would ensure that the property in question is well taken care of and if not its damage is paid. My property inventory for example has a great team of inventory clerks that will work efficiently to produce the best results. A few clerks are enough to have the inventory of your property within the shortest time possible and give a quality report on the same.

The inventory exercise entails inspecting the entire property. Its features are noted down and a record taken regarding their state. Features that usually get damaged would include electrical materials, windows, walls, floors and roofing. Photographs are also taken at every stage to have a current copy of how things look to make comparison possible after the let period is over and the tenant is moving out. If discrepancies are noted, they are examined carefully and the tenant is held liable for causing them hence they are charged out of the deposits held by the landlords. There is another small damage that is left out as they may not be caused by the tenant or they are just minor. Wear and tear is a good example as it is not caused by the tenant and also minor things like scratches on the wall or on the floor are also not accounted for. The landlord charges the damage and the remaining amount is paid back to the tenant.

Disputes

The tenant and landlord relationship does not last to be the best in the end. You may have heard or seen disputes between the tenant and their landlord. Most people who have had to sign agreements of renting property admit that their landlords become difficult to pay back the money given to them as deposits when the tenant  has checked-in.

Disputes actually come about when the tenant is demanding to have their cash deposits refunded to them. Due to disagreements on the damage caused, landlords get reluctant in paying back the money. However it is a requirement that the tenant ought to be given back their deposit when they are vacating the property unless they have damaged the property in one way or another.

Insurance

Insurance companies are very important in the society considering the many services they offer. They can give policy covers or settle insurance claims on your property. However they cannot extend their services to you if you do not have proper documents regarding your property. They will insist to see an inventory report to check on all the assets owned and their value before they can give a cover. Also they need the documents before settling claims, after all they cannot settle your claims when they are not really sure about the value of the assets.

This needs the landlord to seek help from experts like my property inventories to do the inspection and have the report provided to assist them take cover.

Security of property

Landlords need to have assurance from the property stewards i.e. The tenants, that the property will be taken good care of. Most people tend to misuse other people’s assets because they are the owners. They do that because they feel that even if the asset got damaged they have nothing to lose as they are not connected to the ownership in any way.

Inventories and inventory reports will enhance property security. This is achieved through tenants signing agreements concerning the state of the property and if they cause any damage they will be deemed to pay. By knowing this, they will try to minimize any damage to the property in the best way possible. They will take care of it since they know that in case of anything that may cause damage, their deposit is charged.

Also we should not forget that inventories and their reports help the landlord to keep track of their property and do necessary maintenance services.

A good inventory report

A quality report is always desired to settle disputes accordingly and also be submitted to insurers. It needs to have certain characteristics;

  • The report should be free from any bias. This is because it may be compromised by one party to be favored at the expense of the other. A landlord will avoid this by getting the service from a credible company which will be nonpartisan and everything will be done as required.
  • The report should be accurate. This accuracy is required to give a correct value of assets held with the property.
  • The report should be made on time. The inventory clerks should conduct the inventory in the shortest time possible and produce a report. They should therefore deliver the report as soon as possible.

Photographic inventory is however needed to act as a proof that assertions made by either party are correct or wrong.

Inventories and tenancies

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Inventories and tenancies

March 08, 2012 Bloggies by danny

Sounds crazy? Lots of landlords and letting agents are doing this everyday.

It is so important to have a fully photographic inventory report in place and signed by both the landlords and tenants. This way should the tenancy go into a dispute you have evidence of how the property was handed over to the tenant, or how the landlord handed over his/her property.

Please always use an Inventory report to cover both parties from any tenancy issues arising through damage.

Why photographic Inventories?

Taking inventory is a work of a professional; the inventory clerk and it goes hand in hand with the amount the tenant has given as a deposit. The clerk would inspect the entire property of the landlord. This should be done carefully to note down all the characteristics of all the elements of the property. Every bit of information is recorded down by the clerk and since he is well versed with letting, he is able to do it perfectly.

The question however is, is the inventory process done to perfection so far? And are both parties involved in the letting safe from any disputes? Absolutely not, as supporting evidence is required to prove that the state of affairs is really as stipulated. Landlords cannot make empty assertions and solve any dispute for that matter.

The photographs should be;

  • Taken at the initial stage of the agreement when the tenant is moving to use the new property. Every part of the property may be very important and even those regarded as useless require inspection. The photos would be taken on the walls, the ceiling, windows, and floor among other features that are vulnerable to damage.

This would be compared with the appearance when the tenant is moving out. Since the tenant has paid out a deposit, any damage caused by them is charged on their deposit. This should however be done moderately as some damages may be charged wrongly to be borne by the tenant. Negligible damages like slight scratches on the walls or slight fading of the paints should not be held as liability to the tenant either. Wear and tear are also not the cause of the tenant and should not be charged.

  • Taken professionally. This is to show all features correctly. A vague photo would not be able to show all features clearly and therefore when calculating the damage charges it would be difficult.
  • Kept safe until they are required during assessment of the damage caused. Some landlords may take it lightly and not keep the photos safely. This would be consequential especially if disputes arise when the tenant asks for their deposit. The tenant would not have clear evidence as to the state of the property before they let it. In such cases it would be difficult to know whose assertions are correct and usually the tenant would go away with it as the landlord should be blamed for not keeping the photos safely.

The issue of tenancies

Most of the time it becomes an issue with landlords when they are required to pay back the deposits given by their tenant as the tenants are moving out of their property.

Some countries like the UK have taken this into consideration and have come up with ways to protect tenants facing such situations. They have schemes to ensure that tenants are protected against such landlords who get it hard to pay the refund. Normally it is a requirement that the tenant should get their deposit back as soon as they move out of the leased property.

Tenants should not just wait not knowing how the inventory was done and what was recorded. They should ascertain the inventory by checking if everything is recorded as it is. Otherwise the tenant would be held liable by being charged a damage which they did not cause and it would have been avoided if they had counterchecked everything.

Common cases with tenancies and inventories include;

  • Situations where landlords do not see the importance having inventories taken. This is a tricky situation considering that there are no documents to show differences between the original state of the property and the current state. It is easier for the tenant to go away being uncharged for the simple reason that there are no documents of proof. In this case the landlord has no right to charge for damage whichever base may be as the blame goes to them for not having inventory taken. Landlords keep bringing cases forth before the court regarding tenancies and if they did not have inventory taken, they would absolutely lose the case.

However the tenant has the duty to take care of the property as if it was their own. The tenant is supposed to leave the property in a state it would have with the normal depreciation; wear and tear.

  • Joint tenancy whereby two individuals are letting the same property. In this case it might happen that one may leave ahead of the other one. The leaving one could at times get replaced by a new one. The remaining tenant has to ensure the outgoing one has taken liability of the damages they caused. This is to avoid problems that may arise with the remaining tenants as they may be forced to bear the liability of those who went ahead of them.  If possible, sharing of the damage should be done in case the joint tenants are moving out at the same time. Newcomers therefore need to ask the landlord to have new inventory of the property before they move in so that they can account for their own damage.

Landlords are as well advised to heed to the common practice of taking inventories. My property inventories would be ideal in these situations as its unparalleled services would help avoid disputes that arise between tenants and landlords regarding refund of deposit paid and charging of damage caused.

Property Inventories in 2012

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Property Inventories in 2012

February 20, 2012 Bloggies by danny

So as 2012 takes a hold the Property inventory industry is on the rise. We have seen a dramatic increase in the demand ranging from private landlords and tenants to letting agents and housing associations. Having been instructed to carry out over 200 un-bias, fair and regulated Property Inventory Reports in January, the figures speak for themselves. Property Inventories should only be carried out by companies that do not offer to clean after a job or maintain your properties in any way, otherwise they are considered biased and this can render your Property Inventory as useless. Remember, you are investing your money heavily on these service providers and expect some utility in return at later stages more especially when concluding tenancy. Property inventories are crucial for your investment in a number of ways but only when they are obtained from a un-biased service provider.

The Importance of Inventory Service to Your Investment

There are various types of inventories depending with the party interested for instance, office inventories, shops and commercial inventories, property inventories for landlords and tenants and home property inventories among others. We at My Property Inventory deal with all kinds of inventories to help all our clients get the best quality services. Below are the various advantages of inventory service:

  • Claiming insurance compensation at the time of disasters- sometime it becomes hard for insurance providers to comprehensively cover your property if you don’t provide them with a list of the items and their conditions that you need covered. All property owners thus need to seek inventory service to help them prepare a comprehensive report of all the items possessed by an individual to avoid any form of misunderstanding when making insurance claims. This is one single document that has helped many property owners to receive full compensation of their property once they get destroyed or damaged by natural calamities.
  • Shifting homes- at one point in time everyone wishes to relocate to a new place and a new home. The process is usually tedious more especially when looking out for the right moving company to help you with relocation. An inventory record sets straight all the items you wish to be moved to your new destination. With the help of this document, moving companies are able to calculate the cost of transport easily before giving out their quote. The inventory on the other hand may come in handy when issues are brought up at the end of transportation concerning the condition of the items. For instance if an item breaks or gets damaged during transportation, the moving company may deny liability but with the help of an inventory record with photographs, there is no way they can get away with it.
  • Keeping track of all your items- you might have stayed in your current home for way too long to recall all the items in your possession. Carrying out an inventory of your property will help you determine the important items from those you don’t need for shelving purposes.
  • Solving and prevention of landlord-tenant disputes- this is a major area of concern for many property owners. In order for the landlord to safeguard their investment on letting property and the tenant safeguard their deposit, it is important to prepare a property inventory before the tenant moves into the property. The initial condition of the property should be properly maintained to the end of the tenancy. Only fair wear and tear should be allowed in such circumstances. In case of any damage to property by the tenant, the final checkout inventory will clearly show it and our inventory clerks will help you in the estimation of the costs for repair or replacement of the damaged property such that the amount can be deducted from the deposit. This doesn’t however work in favor of the landlord alone because our inventory services allow for fair wear and tear which should not be mistaken by the landlord to confiscate the tenant’s deposit. The tenant’s deposit is also safeguarded until a substantial damage to property is established. Otherwise the tenant will have to receive back their deposit within fourteen days after the vacation of the premises.

Why You Should Insist On Independent Inventory Service Providers

  • Guarantees a high quality inventory services from independent clerks who work on a daily basis to produce documents that, in case need arises, will be useful in settling disputes among the concerned parties before the matter is taken to court.
  • Preparation of high quality documents crucial while making insurance claims. All insurance service providers usually ask for a professional independent document prepared by the unbiased inventory clerk for them to assess your claim.
  • Saves time and hassle as all the necessary services required are prepared by professionals who understand their work well and with experience to provide a keen eye on the condition of all the items in your property. This saves money too in the long run.

Usually the most crucial things to consider before hiring an inventory service are such as the experience, cost of service, location and whether they are independent or not. For quality services, you need a professional service provider to ensure that all your investment is not going to waste as a result of reckless tenants and o2ther natural disasters such as fire, lightning strike and floods among others.

Each year, there are reported several cases of landlord-tenant disputes in various court tribunals and the only remedy is a professionally prepared inventory from an independent provider. With the list of items in the report, comprehensive descriptions and above all photos to back up the evidence, the landlord or tenant can successfully make their case hence easy determination of estimated compensation or any other resolution to the dispute. Clients who have worked with My Property Inventory in 2012 confirm having won all their cases in court fairly without any side party feeling unhappy of the decisions. The spirit goes on as more and more clients have turned up in subsequent days prompting the service providers all over major towns and cities to provide even better quality services to our clients.

How to be a more profitable Buy to Let Landlord-Cut middlemen agents

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How to be a more profitable Buy to Let Landlord-Cut middlemen agents

January 20, 2012 Bloggies by danny

This month I Property Inventories have been featured in a DailyMail article on Buy To Let Landlords. Great article mentioning using a specialized Inventory company, My Property Inventories, to carry out your Inventory Reports, Check In’s and Check Out’s. A link to this property article is: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2083021/How-profitable-buy-let-landlord-Cut-middlemen-agents.html . Well worth the read. In the article you get to learn various tips on how to become a better Buy-to-let landlord and why this is becoming more and more popular each single day that passes. Middlemen, usually brokers and property agents usually cut through amazing deals with property sellers but end up exploiting you as the buyer which is very unfair. In order to avoid such situations and circumstances, here is what you will do.

Be Smart

First and foremost you need to learn that cutting deals with property owners is not a simple task. That is actually why middlemen i.e. the agents are always better at this task that anybody you know. An agent may serve as the best option to strike a good deal with the property owner but this definitely has to come with a prize; you are expected to pay a very big percentage in return for the work. You thus need to think and act smart by learning the best ways you can fix this and cut out the agents by all means. These are the guidelines to help you in performing the various tasks done by the agent:

Draw Up A Legally Binding Tenancy Agreement

This is a very crucial requirement in any tenancy. It needs to be signed by both parties involved for safety purposes. It is known and inspiring as an Assured Shortthold tenancy (AST) signed by both parties. The details to be included in the document include the length of tenancy, amount charged and deposit details among others.

Draw up a comprehensive inventory from independent inventory service providers

This is a crucial step in becoming a successful landlord without having to rely on middlemen who end up charging you a lot of fees. This document is very helpful in solving various disputes at later stages when the tenancy period comes to an end. It safeguards your property from damages by reckless tenants hence reducing costs of repair of your property every time a tenant leaves your premises. The process of ending a tenancy is usually complex if I should say due to the many demands that are drawn from either side of the landlord or the tenant. While the landlord wants the damages to the property catered for, the tenant demands to have their deposit in full hence bringing up disputes that sometimes end in court tribunals for resolution. With the help of a well prepared inventory report of all the items in your property and their conditions, you are able to settle down such disputes within a short time. You should always hire independent inventory service providers not attached to your business in any other way. As much as you need to protect your property against any unforeseen damage, you also need to guarantee the safety of customer deposit.

Photos taken act as back-up evidence of the condition of your property before renting it to your client. In order to ensure full protection of tenants deposit, you may choose either of these three tenancy deposit protection schemes.

  • The deposit protection service (DPS) - it is a free custodial option to ensure the safety of tenancy deposit. The money is kept in a bank account.
  • The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and
  • My Deposits

The last two are insurance-based schemes that charge a small membership fee while the first one only has a one time joining fee of 60 pounds and a little deposit protection fee. All inventory reports as earlier mentioned should be prepared by specialized independent service providers rather than by self. My Property Inventory, a UK-based Inventory service provider has cut through the market to offer clients with the best quality services that not only guarantee safety to property and protection but also enhance a peaceful landlord-tenant relationship.

Ensure All Safety Issues Are Solved

There are several precautions you need to take as a Buy-to-let landlord at all times. Some safety issues, such as ensuring proper installation and working of gas and electrical appliances should always be put into consideration. Gas safety certificate should be provided to prove proper installation and functioning of the appliances. The check up for such appliances should be done for at least once a year. The checking and installation services should be provided by professional experts who are well experienced in servicing and installing all kinds of home appliances. You can check out on various internet directories such as gassaferegister.co.uk for the best quality service providers. For instance, in this site there is a list of competent engineers renowned for their services. Their ratings are also indicated. From that list you can select the best engineer after considering other factors such as location, number of appliances they have handled in the past and finally the cost they charge for such services.

The Health Safety Executive also recommends for the provision of carbon monoxide detection alarms and smoke alarms to ensure safety of tenants. For all these to be availed, regular inspection of your property should be carried out from time to time to ensure that the property is in the best condition to let. An energy performance certificate is also inevitable in this circumstance. This is a legal requirement outlining the details of the property’s energy consumption and ways used to ensure your home is more energy-efficient. You ought to have the services of an accredited domestic energy assessor to carry out the inspection at least after every 10 years.

Invest In Property Owners’ Insurance

This is a crucial requirement if you are contemplating on becoming a successful buy-to-let landlord. The property owners’ insurance provides an additional cover to protect you against all uncertainties and disasters such as fire, floods, lightning strikes and accidental tenant damages.

Buy-to-let properties can sound really amazing investment opportunities but remember to always stay your eyes wide open not to fall victim of property fraud. To ensure you are always safe with the transactions, check out that the Land Registry has the property under your name plus other details such as contacts and addresses to record an updated record of ownership of property. While looking out for the best investment option, you can comfortably choose on Buy-to-let property once you are assured all details discussed above are well put in mind.