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Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

Tenancy Deposits and Inventories by David Lawrenson of Letting Focus

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Mydeposits.co.uk, celebrating its second birthday a while back, revealed that a massive nine out of ten tenants get their money back in tenancy deposit dispute cases. And as the average amount in dispute in tenancy deposit cases was £733, that’s quite a lot on money being lost by landlords.
I’ll bet that the vast majority of those landlords did not have a professional inventory drawn up.
The best way to make sure that you aren’t one of those landlords is to have a proper professional inventory done and to “manage the end of tenancy” in a professional way.
And that’s important because in disputes about the return of deposits the only thing the adjudicators will use will be the inventory document.
If there is no inventory at all, the tenant will always win and if the inventory lacked sufficient detail the tenant will probably win too.
So let’s look at inventories in more detail.

Property Inventories Are Not All The Same
Of course, there are inventories and inventories.
Now, I’ve seen some duff property inventories in my time and some really detailed ones too.
Often the duff ones are done by letting agents using untrained people who have no idea how to do a proper inventory - so if you are using a letting agent ask to see proof of a previous inventory to check quality and level of detail. .
A good inventory should be done at both the start and end of the tenancy (ideally done by the same independent third party) and it should list the state and condition of everything in the property and the make and model number of each and every appliance. Every chip, mark and scratch should be noted on the inventory. Anything that is not clean should be noted too.
With a clear inventory there can be no room for dispute - either the tenant damaged something, or he didn’t or it was down to fair wear and tear. Simple!
A good professional inventory on a 2 bed property can be done for less than £100.

Managing the End of a Tenancy
“Managing the end of tenancy” means that in the last month of the tenancy you as the landlord or your agent should visit the property and make sure the tenant understands that they must leave the property in the same condition they found it (fair wear and tear accepted) or face the cost of putting it right.
At the same time, it is good practice to remind them of the state and condition and degree of cleanliness when the tenancy started so that they can make sure it is like that when the check out inventory is done too.
It is better you give them a reminder to clean up and they can put it right before the tenancy ends than end up in a nasty dispute because even if you win, disputes are time consuming.

This week we have a special offer from Nick Lyons of leading inventory managers Nolettinggo (http://www.nolettinggo.co.uk/) exclusively for LettingFocus.com customers.
If you book an inventory or check in with them up to 15th December 2009 and quote LettingFocus they will carry out a mid term inspection on the same property free of charge. This offer is not available on line – please call 0845 659 9980 and quote LettingFocus.

To find details of our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors on 4th November click here:
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We are LettingFocus.com - the property experts.
I’m, David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book.
What’s unique about LettingFocus is that I offer independent unbiased
property seminars covering property investment and letting because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business I am not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier.
I can tell you where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to make sure you get tenants who are going to pay the rent and how to manage a rental property to make money.
I can also comment on “No Money Down” Schemes and “Buying Below Market Value” methods too.
I can answer all your questions on letting property because I have been a landlord and property investor for over 25 years.

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