20 Dec 2021
Agents should not wait until regulation and legislation improve the rental sector – they should be doing so voluntarily.
That’s the view of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks which argues that the sector shouldn’t wait for the likes of the Regulation of Property Agents or the Renters’ Reform Bill, both of which are expected in 2022.
Instead Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC and managing director of Home Inventories, says: “Inventories play a key role in the reputation and smooth running of the industry, but standards still aren’t high enough across the board. If we’re serious about improving and cleaning up the sector as a whole, we need the inventory sector to come along for the ride, too, to ensure minimum standards are as high as possible.”
Evans argues that this is something that can be done now – with self-regulation, self-governance and improving standards and processes from within – rather than simply waiting for guidance, instruction, or recommendations.
“Lettings, whether fairly or unfairly, does still have a trust issue and a negative perception among too much of the public – despite the great work that many agents, landlords and inventory clerks do,” Evans continued. “One way in which we can improve transparency, build trust and improve the overall reputation of the lettings sector is by raising the bar when it comes to the quality of inventories.”
Evans believes it’s vital that agents and landlords entrust this vital service to independent, specialist professionals – who can operate without fear or favour – to improve the levels of trust in the process and limit the chances of disputes or problems occurring at a later date.
“Arguably, inventories play the most integral role in keeping tenancy disputes to a minimum and cases from reaching arbitration, by providing that clear evidence trail, that documentation, so everyone knows where they stand throughout, and most importantly at check-in and check-out” Evans adds.
Since taking on the position of AIIC chair last year, Evans and the board say they have made it their mission to raise the bar of the sector.
“It’s a given now that agents and landlords use inventories – we’ve won that battle. But the next step is to ensure a terrific benchmark of professionalism in our sector, making sure that the service provided by inventory clerks is always of the highest level” Evans says.
“And this is something we can achieve on our own, without the need for RoPA or rental reform, to get ahead of the game and set a great example for the rest of the industry to follow.”
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