Landlords are failing to carry out regular inspections of their properties and are facing expensive maintenance and repair costs, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
Inspections are essential to check for both normal maintenance issues and to ensure that the tenant is treating the property as they should and no serious neglect is taking place. If a problem is caught quickly, it will not exacerbate and cause a bigger issue with a higher cost to the landlord or tenant.
Tenants are notoriously bad at reporting any problems during their tenancy. Since the property is rented, they always seem to think that it’s someone else’s problem.
Landlords should be visiting their properties on a regular basis – the general rule is every three months – to carry out maintenance checks and to identify any damage to the property. Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “A recent case shows how important it is for landlords to make regular checks on their property.
A check-out was in progress and it was discovered that there had been a water leak from the bathroom above a kitchen which had caused the ceiling to fall down.
The tenant said that the leak had got worse, but hadn’t bothered to report it and a couple of days ago the ceiling had come down. The tenant thought that as they were moving out, this would just be reported at time of check-out. As a result of the tenant’s negligence, they had to pay for a percentage of the ceiling repair.
“Time and time again we see maintenance issues and property damage at check-out because of poor communication between the tenant and landlord. Very often the tenant won’t report a problem until it becomes serious and without regular visits from landlords, potential big problems are not sorted.
AIIC has put together some advice on what to look out for when carrying out maintenance checks on rental property:
- Water stains on ceilings and walls, especially in rooms below bathrooms
- Signs of mould spores anywhere in the property, but especially in corners and around windows & on curtains, grouting or bath sealant
- Water damage to flooring or skirting (from either leaks or overflow of bath/shower water)
- Exterior and interior window frames for rotting, flaking etc which could lead to water ingress
- Signs of vermin infestation such as rodent droppings in kitchen cupboards or corners of rooms
- Dripping guttering
- The general condition of the garden – check for evidence of rats.
For further information on AIIC, please visit www.theaiic.co.uk
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks was established in 1996
The aim of the AIIC is to ensure that every landlord, tenant and agent in the UK is aware of the importance of the inventory process and the benefits of employing an independent, professional independent inventory clerk.
AIIC independent inventory clerks provide letting agents and landlords with comprehensive inventory documentation, including inventory compilation, check-in procedure, check-out procedure, Tenancy Deposit Schemes and assessment in fair wear and tear.
The AIIC offers membership to current independent inventory clerks and a search facility for agents and landlords to search for local professional independent inventory clerks.
The AIIC also offers industry-leading training courses, open to anyone in the property letting industry, ensuring that proper information and training is available for all members to provide the best possible service.
The AIIC members have all agreed to conduct their business in a professional manner in accordance with the Guidelines to Professional Practice and will abide by the AIIC’s Code of Practice. AIIC members also have Professional Indemnity insurance and Public Liability insurance.
AIIC independent inventory clerks are experts in their field, helping to save landlords, letting agents and tenant’s time, money and hassle by ensuring that government regulations are being adhered to.