Please Note: This Article is 15 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

In April 2007 the Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS) will come into effect in England and Wales, overseeing deposits equating to an amount worth £1.2 billion, according to

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 Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, hopes the TDS can help to “nurture and encourage a professional private-rented sector”, 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.

“The provision of an independent inventory must be a core assumption of the TDS”, says Jonathan Senior from, the largest provider of Inventories in the UK. “How else can the scheme be successful without one? He continues, “how can a dispute be resolved, if the very document upon which a possible dispute is based is not included?”

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 employees 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: “from 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?”

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.

Notes To Editors:

Press Enquiries to Jonathan Senior
T: 0845 612 3727 F: 0870 762 7727 E: National Landlords Association
T: 020 8740 8938 established in 2006, led by Secretary of State Ruth Kelly

Please Note: This Article is 15 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. Why do we need \”inventory clerks\”? Surely as experienced landlords and having performed many inventories pre and post tenants, we are capable of issuing our own inventories This, I DO NOT SEE AS a specialised job.Correct me if im wrong, but all i see necessary is a format of the relevent property details and 2/3 pairs of eyes, the landlords, tenants and if felt necessary witness and their signatures! I assume we will have to pay � forthis service, which i feel and i\’m sure many otherlandlords feel, we can competently perform ourselves.

  2. I run a letting agents and also have property managed by other agents. I prepare very detailed inventories for all our properties that are signed off on by the tenants. Why is this less valid than an independant one?

    This is pure marketing fluff by an inventory company – this says it all: �The provision of an independent inventory must be a core assumption of the TDS?\” This person is hardly speaking from a position of independence.

  3. This could be used for overseas landlords as who do you trust with regards to the inventory, I have had problems with both tenants and estate agents!

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