As with all Inventoryclerk.com colleagues, they are available to supply the much wanted 'paperless' inventory, so appreciated by our existing clients.
Commissioned by APIP, using Inventoryclerk.com as their benchmark, this says much about the professionalism of our colleagues.
Pauline and Bill were responsible for a great job here and it's worth watching if you want to know more about the premium service available from Inventoryclerk.com.
The great news is that we appear to be on the button with what's required, not least the new 'paperless' system we've developed could lead the lettings industry in how such documentation is prepared and presented in line with TDS cloud based procedures.
All great areas to do business in and we expect fantastic success for our colleagues as well as a premium service for their clients.
How does it work?
The ability to book online 24/7 and control the booking at will has been with us a while. Delivering reports back to the client within 24 hours and often the same day is not uncommon, but to get around the printing costs has been a quest worth pursuing.
The client logs into their online calendar and books the required service. The inventory clerk completes the booking and delivers the report back to the client online.
In the past, this would normally be printed and at least one copy given or sent to the tenant for check-in, and as per their AST, the tenant would agree, sign and return within a given period. Often it is assumed that if not returned the inventory is deemed correct and will be used ‘as is’ for the check-out at tenancy end.
The new Inventoryclerk.com process no-longer follows this path. Instead on receipt of theinventory in PDF format, the client now forwards the inventory via a coded link to the tenant and the tenant is given access to agree the report on screen, including the ability to add observations and even their own photos. On completion the report is finalised and a secondary link is sent back to the client.
Depending on the client’s terms, the tenant is sent a series of SMS reminders advising on how many days remaining to complete this process and on the last day will be told the document is complete.
The document can now be left in the system ready for mid-term and check-out additions or can be downloaded and stored within a client’s own management system.
At tenancy end the check-out document is linked digitally back to the inventory and should a dispute occur and adjudication be required, the client can upload scanned ASTs as well as receipts, quotes and claim forms which are tacked digitally to the end of both the inventory and check-out reports. An online link to all documentation can then be sent for adjudication.
During any one of these processes the system time and date stamps the online versions with information relating to each and every process, including evidence of a tenants emails and SMS messages.How do I get Paperless Inventories?
If you are already using one of our clerks, just ask them to enablePaperless Inventories for you.I have more questions!
Inventoryclerk.com are very pleased to welcome Inventoryclerk Norfolk as part of our group.
The owners of Inventoryclerk Norfolk, Andrew and Lisa, are covering the entire
NR postcode area.
With nearly 20 years experience as Landlords, we are confident Andrew and Lisa will do extremely well.
To contact Inventoryclerk Norfolk, please visit their webpage at www.inventoryclerknorfolk.co.uk
Of course they can. We don't always recommend it however, especially if as we see, some landlords’ inventories being inadequate in both content and layout.One has to remember there’s only one reason for an inventory and its sister check-out, and that’s to support any claim made by a landlord against a tenant’s deposit. And as one can imagine, using a cooking metaphor, the poorer the ingredients, the possibility the poorer the meal. Unless the detail is in the inventory the less one has to work with at check-out. As a nationwide team with thousands of inspections annually, we are sometimes required to use a landlord’s inventory at check-out, and despite advising both landlord’s and sometimes their agents of the ‘thin’ nature of these inventories, our findings are often minimal. As you might appreciate, we can only report on that listed and that seen, and as we have previously experienced, some landlords have claimed for something which was neither listed nor adequately evidenced. A recent example demonstrates this when one of our colleagues conducted a check-out using a sparsely populated landlady’s inventory, and despite being advised that by going to arbitration she may lose her claim, she insisted on being compensated for items broken by the
tenant that were not adequately described. Her follow-up complaint about her failed claim meant an opportunity to explain why, and the why was as expected; her inventory was in our opinion inadequate. For example she wanted compensation for a broken fridge handle which arbitration denied, the inventory listed ‘Fridge’ only. No handle listed, no description of the fridge, in fact no itemisation of anything including shelves, colour or make. Her response was ‘of course there’s a handle’ to which we asked, ‘was there?’ Other claimed for items were rejected on similar grounds, she said. And although we had no proof as to why, we assumed as with the fridge example, she had insufficient proof for other items being claimed for. As indicated within the recently published tri-deposit-scheme document, independent inventories can carry some validity in their assumed unbiasedness. But it’s not only this. A good inventory clerk will provide detailed documentation, and along with support material such as photographs, they will clearly describe every component and content of a property as well as their condition both at beginning and end of tenancy. This will at least allow adjudication we believe, some ease in decision making. So yes, landlords can provide their own inventories, however they may themselves be good inventory clerks as well as landlords, as by-the-way some of our clerks are.
Office: 0845 505 6028
Well they don't, at least not in our view!
Ever since I started in the inventory business, now on the way to 15 years ago, letting agents have generally charged the landlord for the inventory and charged the tenant for the check-out.
This would have made sense pre-TDS, but since April 2007 I've argued that it should be the tenant paying for this due to the tenant's deposit being protected against the inventory.
It has been when communicating with agents that I get a mixed bag of responses with some confused as to why. However when I say that by charging the other way around they may have a competitive edge on their rivals, they see why.
Of the agents I deal with, most have taken this method on-board and agree this is a much better way of working. It certainly means that when competing with agents with lower fees they can slice off some of the original charge from the up-front amount paid.
Either way it seems sensible to us that a tenant should pay for the inventory and where required the check-in, and the agent pays for the mid-term and the landlord for the check-out.
schemes, although not a resounding yes from how we read it. The joint publication of a "Guide to Deposits, Disputes and Damages"
produced last week says that "All three deposit protection providers
have signed up to the guidelines in this document, and will continue
to operate their dispute resolution services using these principles". The document goes on to talk about what evidence is admissible and
quote "Photographic evidence can be used to support, or defend a claim
against a deposit", however it says further "Video evidence can also
be useful where photographic evidence is unclear or unavailable". This means we think that video is secondary as a form of evidence in
comparison to traditional photographic evidence and is to be used only
if inadequate photographic evidence is available. For a long while we have looked at and even experimented with a number
of ways of documenting the condition and contents of rental
properties. Years ago when photographic support material was both
cumbersome and expensive, it was rare to supply photographs, but now
of course it's easy and very inexpensive and allows us to record an
infinite number of pictures to support written evidence. Whatever photographic support material is used, it must be easily
useable, and as the document indicates "Only photos that are relevant
should be submitted. Ideally, ‘before and after’ photos should be
submitted with a clear narrative as to what the photo is showing e.g.
colours, item description, marks on surfaces etc". This is difficult, cumbersome and maybe sometimes impossible with
video."There is nothing worse for an adjudicator to have to sit
through hours of video to get the problem area or to miss the issue
entirely", the report says. Whatever method used, we're commited to making it easy for
adjudicators to decide on relevance and whether a claim is valid or
not. This means we will continue to provide highly detailed written
explanations of every component of a property and its contents along
with easily identifiable support material, including photographs. Any
other method will unlikely meet our standards, for now anyway,
although we're always on the lookout for anything which can enhance
the service we provide.