Landlord and Tenant Inventories to become Law?
Landlords will soon have to keep a written record of the state of their property before a tenant moves in to stop arguments about returning deposits.
Property condition reports are standard practice in the UK and the politician responsible says making them compulsory here from the end of October will help avoid rental disputes.
Housing Minister Andrew Green said: “Condition reports are another of the important measures introduced under the Residential Tenancy Law. Together with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, it will help manage disputes over the return of a tenant’s deposit. These reports form part of a wider programme of work we have been undertaking in recent years to ensure there is a modern legal framework in place to clarify the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. "
Deputy Green said the comparison between reports at the beginning and end of tenancies could help landlords and tenants agree the amount of deposit money which should be returned to a leaving tenant or act as evidence in any dispute resolution process.
Landlords will soon be able to download a template from the states website to record the condition of the carpets, décor and any furniture and whether there is any wear and tear and Deputy Green recommends taking photos too.
Many landlords already use condition reports and can carry on using their own so long as they contain the minimum information that will now be required.
For those who don't already use them he said: “It will remove the area of dispute because there is a clear understanding of the condition of the flat or the house, supported by pictures. It’s particularly important when there are things like a burn in the carpet.”
The Housing department plan to do a big publicity campaign before the deposit scheme is introduced in February next year to make sure all parties know their rights and responsibilities.