In April 2007 the Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS) will come into effect in England and Wales, overseeing deposits equating to an amount worth Â£1.2 billion, according to Communities.gov.uk.
The TDS will provide protection to both tenants and landlords entering into assured short hold tenancy agreements by offering an independent and regulated means of dispute resolution.
The National Landlords Association (NLA), the sponsors of one of the two insurance schemes, will principally concern landlords and agents not belonging to RICS, ARLA or the NAEA. David Salisbury, chairman of the NLA, hopes the TDS can help to â€œnurture and encourage a professional private-rented sectorâ€?, a sector that continues to grow.
An area that remains peripheral to any discussions is that of the need for accurate and detailed documentation of a property and its contents.
As the resolution of disputes will be based on evidence, supplying an inventory will be a prerequisite for a referral to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme, claims the NLA sponsored Tenancy Deposit Solutions website.
â€œThe provision of an independent inventory must be a core assumption of the TDSâ€?, says Jonathan Senior from inventoryclerk.com, the largest provider of Inventories in the UK. â€œHow else can the scheme be successful without one?â€? He continues, â€œhow can a dispute be resolved, if the very document upon which a possible dispute is based is not included?â€?
The re-distribution of deposit monies and the resolution of disputes must therefore be largely based on pre prepared inventories.
The process of preparing an inventory is to accurately document the state of fixtures, fittings and the internal condition of a property prior to the commencement of a tenancy. This is a professional service in itself and only by providing proper training to the employeeâ€™s of the industry can we expect to maintain standards in the TDS.
The number of trained inventory clerks in the UK is still only in the low hundreds, according to Senior. He goes on to say: â€œfrom April of this year when the TDS is put into operation, the rental sector can expect to experience a shock of demand for independent inventories, how is the sector going to meet demand with such a shortage of clerks?â€?
It is clear that whilst heralding the arrival of the TDS, the property sector also needs to raise awareness of the lack of inventory clerks and promote the employment and training of staff to meet the requirement created by the TDS.
Inventories Online Ltd, Press Enquiries to Jonathan Senior
T: 0845 612 3727 F: 0870 762 7727 E: firstname.lastname@example.org National Landlords Association
T: 020 8740 8938
Communities.gov.uk established in 2006, led by Secretary of State Ruth Kelly