Landlords could be losing money when tenancies turnover because they have not prepared properly, particularly in the UK’s student rental market, says one organisation.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says landlords should prepare for the eventuality of tenants damaging their property or leaving behind possessions.
The AIIC says landlords could be left out-of-pocket by not preparing thoroughly.
Nearly 3,000 landlords were questioned in a recent survey for an interior design firm and 89% of respondents said that their tenant usually leaves something they no longer want behind when they move out.
Property had been left dirty
On top of this, 72% of landlords said their property had been left dirty and 57% said it had been damaged.
Among the items being left behind include an urn of pet ashes and toe nail clippings in a jewellery box.
The AIIC’s joint chairman, Danny Zane, said: “Members find bizarre items in rental properties often when they carry out their checking out inspection when the tenancy ends.
“While this is sometimes amusing, there is a serious issue.”
He explained that landlords who do not prepare a watertight inventory when the tenancy begins are leaving themselves open to having to pay unnecessary removal costs.
Items belonging to the landlord could get damaged
Mr Zane added: “While inventory will focus on items belonging to the landlord which could get damaged or go missing, it should be remembered the need to address items that are left behind too.”
Should a tenant leave a large item behind, the landlord’s inventory can prove that the item does not belong to them and so the tenant can be charged for the item’s removal.
Some landlords could face removal costs running into several hundred pounds and also a potential cleaning bill when a tenancy ends.
Landlords urged to tackle mould
Meanwhile, one property expert is urging buy to let landlords to deal with issues of damp and condensation as well as mould in their properties.
Kate Faulkner says landlords and their letting agent should rectify damp and condensation issues quickly.
She explained: “Mould and damp are undoubtedly big problems in the UK's private rental sector and affect the properties and lives of millions of people but it's a problem that is avoidable.”
First signs of a mould problem
She says one of the big issues is that landlords and agents, including tenants, do not always recognise the first signs of a mould problem occurring or how to fix them.
There's also some confusion over who is responsible for dealing with mould and condensation issues though Ms Faulkner says landlords and their agents have a legal obligation to bear the burden of mould and damp repairs which, if left untreated, will cost more to fix in the long term.