The recent Government announcement that it has set aside £3 million to tackle rogue landlords who place tenants in overcrowded or poorly maintained accommodation is an indication of the serious nature of the growing problem in the private rented sector, says The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
Poor living conditions has a major impact on tenants and on the local community. In some parts of the UK, there are acute problems with clusters of very poor quality properties, which are associated with wider problems – illegal working, anti-social behaviour and illegal immigration.
Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC comments: “A small number of rogue landlords are putting lives at risk and causing problems for local communities. Over the last 12 months, we have seen a rise in the number of properties owned by irresponsible landlords. Overcrowding inevitably causes dangerous health and safety issues.
“One recent case involved a three bedroomed town flat, the landlord had rented the property as a company let, to the owner of a restaurant. In a short space of time no less than 17 people were living in there with the landlord’s full knowledge and consent. This only came to light when the letting agent had cause to visit the property after a complaint from a neighbour.
The living conditions were not only cramped but very dangerous. Escape routes were blocked with rubbish and every available room was being used as a bedroom with furniture piled high across fire exits and windows.
“The key problem is that there is a growing shortage of affordable accommodation in parts of the UK and landlords are exploiting this. Vulnerable and undesirable tenants are seduced by low-cost rent, with little or no reference checks.
“Recent research by the Tenant’s Voice shows that 37% of tenants would not rent another property from their current agent or landlord and that nearly half (46%) have had deposit disputes. Nearly 40% of tenants said properties were generally tired and in need of updating and a further 17% said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the overall condition of the properties they had rented.
“The Government, local authorities, communities and the industry need to work together to remove rogue landlords from the market.”
The AIIC is committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process and works hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories.
For more information, 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.