31 Oct

Landlords should have "realistic expectations"

Landlords should have "realistic expectations"

Landlords and letting agents may have unrealistic expectations about wear and tear, according to new research.

A study conducted by the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) found that many landlords are unaware of the betterment principle which means that it may not always be possible to replace old with new.

For instance, this means that if a carpet was stained before a tenant moved in, then it is not allowable for a landlord to expect a renter to pay for cleaning of the item on check-out.

"We have seen many cases where the landlord or letting agent has not bothered to read the check-in inventory, so when it comes to the check-out, they are unrealistic over issues, which they believe should be included in the check-out and charged to the tenant," explained Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC.

She added that there is often a difference between landlords and tenants' perceptions of fair wear and tear issues.

For example, although flattened carpet tread is regarded as reasonable wear, any cigarette burns would be regarded as requiring fixing.

Ms Barber added: "Normal wear and tear is a fact of life with rental properties, just as it would be at home. The best way landlords and agents can ensure that the property’s condition is fully recorded, is by having a comprehensive inventory in place at the start of any new tenancy, and that a thorough check-in and check-out report is completed."

The Tenant Deposit scheme, which covers Assured Shorthold Tenancies, was set up to protect all deposits up to £25,000 and provides a resolution process when disputes arise over non-returns of deposits.

The scheme was deemed necessary because 56 per cent of landlords retain some or all of the tenants’ deposits to cover damage to the property, missed rent payments, cleaning costs, and other unpaid bills.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801757343-ADNFCR

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