According to a new report, switching from analogue to digital inventories can reduce tenant deposit disputes and increase the chance of landlords winning adjudications.
The research, conducted by Imfuna Let, the UK’s leading inventory software solution, reveals that landlords who have switched from analogue to digital inventories have seen their tenant deposit disputes drop by more than 300% and their success rate at adjudications improve by an average of 75%.
Jax Kneppers, Founder and CEO of Imfuna Let comments:
“Many deposit disputes fail because the evidence is not presented correctly, or there are missing items. According to the DPS, one in six landlords required to submit evidence after agreeing to dispute resolution, either missed the deadline or sent in nothing, meaning an automatic ruling or pay out for the tenant in 2014.
“We have designed Imfuna Let to fully protect Landlords. For example, the software provides a side-by-side comparison report which clearly demonstrates any change in condition of the property, illustrated with date/time stamped photographs. Users can also print out a deposit dispute report, again saving time, meeting deadlines and ensuring that the tenancy deposit protection adjudicator has the information at their fingertips.
“The bottom line is that digital inventories are the ultimate protection in the event of a tenant deposit dispute.”
Elaine MacDonald, Managing Director of First Avenue Properties in Scotland comments:
“Since we have switched to digital inventories, we have seen phenomenal changes. For example, we are now successful in over 98% of deposit reclaims, but prior to using Imfuna Let, we were only recovering 60% of costs we applied for. The number of disputes has also dropped significantly from one in six deposit cases, to one in every 25, making us 400% more effective.
“What’s more, the condition of properties handed back at the end of the tenancy, have been vastly improved. Our post-tenancy cleaning used to be around £120, but it now sits at an average of £25. I believe this is down to the fact that tenants are more mindful after seeing the digitally produced inventories, where it states for example, that the carpets were cleaned prior to the tenants moving in. All our inventories are consistent now, with much higher standards of description and photography.
“Claims for garden maintenance to be carried out on properties have also dropped by 90%, as tenants are given a clear picture record and descriptive guidance on how the gardens were presented at the start of the tenancy. This has allowed them to be able to identify any problem areas and address them prior to hand back.
“Initial maintenance calls have reduced dramatically from new tenants, as most maintenance issues are identified during the inventory period and action initiated prior to the move. This ensures that issues do not cause further dilapidation and are remedied for tenants within first few days of the move in, if not before.”
Imfuna Let has put together a breakdown of the key advantages of digital inventories:
A digital inventory can be shared in a transparent manner between landlord, tenant, and letting agents. All three parties can see the information held, and can comment accordingly in real time. The transparency is fair to all and documentary evidence cannot be disputed. With a paper inventory, it’s much harder to keep track of changes in a timely and seamless manner, while keeping the information clear.
A digital inventory reduces the process of undertaking the inventory very significantly. This means that time and money are saved through using digital tools such as Imfuna Let. Undertaking a paper inventory and attaching photographs can take up to three times as long. As a result of the time-savings and simplicity of performing a digital inventory, many lettings agents have brought inventories in-house using Imfuna Let, and have thereby developed another revenue stream. Both landlords and tenants are impressed by the speed and delivery of a digital inventory and the clarity of the information shared by it.
3. Audit trail
A digital inventory holds all the information in one place and creates a clear audit trail of the tenancy – from check in, to mid-term property inspections, to check out. It builds up a kind of log-book of the tenancy, all date and time stamped, with gives a clear audit trail. This is much more efficient than multiple bits of paper and photographs all kept together in a physical format.
4. Security of data
All data is held in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The data cannot be separated by mistake or lost, as is the case with analogue data.
A digital inventory offers complete transparency to the entire inventory process throughout the life-cycle of the tenancy. Therefore, it is unbiased and fair to all parties – the landlord, the tenant, and the lettings agent.
With new legislation like ‘Right to Rent’, a digital inventory can be part of the compliance process and keeping accurate records of the tenancy. For instance, a photograph of the tenant and their passport can be attached to an Imfuna Let inventory.
Imfuna Let produces a bullet-proof inventory that records property check-in condition status, and can also be used for mid-term property inspections. Imfuna Let is the complete digital property inspection system automating the reporting process, reducing the overall process from property data capture to report generation by up to 75%. Imfuna Let can be used on current Apple or Android devices. Embrace the ‘Power of Digital’ in 2015 : Free Trail at www.imfuna.co.uk
For further information on First Avenue Properties, please visit www.firstavenueproperties.co.uk.