Common sense 'must prevail when assessing wear and tear'
Wear & Tear
It is important for letting agents to use common sense when assessing wear and tear at the end of a tenancy.
This is the opinion of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC), whose chair Pat Barber has recently discussed the issue with Property Reporter.
Ms Barber talked about assessing damage to a property's walls in particular, as this is an area in which a letting agent's assessment of wear and tear may differ to a tenant's.
"As in all things, common sense must prevail … A few light scuffs after six months is definitely wear and tear. However, heavy markings, scrapes, several additional screw holes during the same length of time, will be classed as tenant damage. The longer the tenancy, the more allowance must be made for wear and tear," she stated.
Ms Barber said landlords and agents also have an influence on the wear and tear walls suffer, as those that choose to use cheaper paint and water down emulsion will find walls show signs of damage more easily.
However, she warned that any nail holes, screw holes, blue tack marks, sellotape, grease marks and drilled holes should not be considered wear and tear and money can be deducted from a tenant's deposit to account for repairing these problems.
According to research from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, issues surrounding redecoration are some of the most common causes of disputes between renters and landlords and letting agents.
The organisation's annual survey found redecoration accounts for 30 per cent of disagreements, which comes in behind only damage to property (43 per cent) and cleaning (56 per cent).
Earlier this year, the AIIC suggested landlords and letting agents should increase the deposits they charge in order to cover the costs of repairing homes.
However, Ajay Jagota, founder and chief executive of lettings firm KIS, told Property Reporter he does not think this is a wise course of action, as it would mean renters would struggle to afford their accommodation.
Belvoir Lettings West Derby opinion
Wear & Tear can be difficult to deal with once taken to dispute as we all have different opinions of what is wear & tear and what is neglect. As an ARLA qualified agent we understand that scuffs on walls are bound to happen with tenants living in properties. As an agent we often move-out tenants and common sense does come in to perspective. If a tenant has only been living in the property for six months and it was in good condition on move-in & then needs painting throughout and carpets replacing, that would be down to the tenant neglecting the property and therefore we would expect to use the deposit to have it fixed. Belvoir lettings West Derby feel the costs of moving in to a property are expensive enough for a tenant without having to pay higher deposits to protect landlord’s properties. If a landlord chooses the correct agent to manage their properties, quarterly inspections would be carried out to ensure the property is being looked after to a good standard, and checks would be carried out on the tenant before moving them in to the property. If you are a landlord with a property and you would like details of how we take care of properties to minimise the risk of damage give Hannah Belvoir Lettings West Derby a call on 0151 256 0880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org