A new guide has been produced to help avoid disputes between landlords, letting agents and tenants over the return of deposits at the end of the tenancy. 

The 'ins and outs of inventories' provides comprehensive detail of what landlords and agents should take into account when compiling an inventory at the start of the tenancy, and includes expert advice from key industry leaders such as the National Landlords Association and the UK Association of Letting Agents.

It was created after recent research from tenancy deposit scheme my|deposits shows that more than a third (36 per cent) of tenants don't read their inventory properly at the start of the tenancy.

The guidance, which also features top tips from leading letting agents, aims to ensure that the property is returned in a good condition at the end of the tenancy, thus helping to avoid disagreements over the return of the deposit. It outlines some of the important things for tenants to consider when moving out and aims to ensure that they aren't faced with a deposit deduction for something that they could have otherwise avoided.

Most landlords or letting agents ask for a deposit as it provides security should their tenant break the terms of the tenancy agreement or damage the property.

A detailed inventory helps landlords and agents to compare the state of the property on check-in and check-out and determine whether they need to make any deposit deductions. It will also be relied upon if both parties need to resolve their differences using the free dispute resolution service offered by their tenancy deposit scheme.

Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive of my|deposits, commented:

❝Tenants should receive a comprehensive inventory at the start of the tenancy that details the state of the property at check-in and allows them to determine how the property must be returned at check-out❞

❝However, if an inventory wasn't carried out, or if it was insufficiently detailed, then it may not be clear how the property should be left before departure, which could lead to a deposit dispute❞

❝Landlords and agents can enlist a reputable inventory company to do this but many choose to undertake the inventory themselves, and this new guide should be their first point of reference as it will enable them to compile a solid and clear inventory which they can later rely on should they face a dispute❞

❝However, if a tenant fails to read the inventory properly at the start of the tenancy they risk a deposit deduction for something which could have been avoided. Crucially, this guide will help to maximise the chance of having the deposit returned in full at the end of the tenancy by better educating tenants about inventories and how the property should be left when they move out❞

Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the National Landlords Association, commented:

❝Dealing with a deposit dispute can be stressful and costly for those involved so it's always preferable to avoid this if possible❞

❝The 'ins and outs of inventories' contains vital information about how to avoid a deposit dispute and is a must read for landlords, agents and tenants❞

❝The guidance makes it easy for landlords and agents to carry out their own inventory and also helps tenants understand what's required of them before they depart the property, helping them to avoid unnecessary deductions to their deposit❞

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