Here are some questions for the blog clinic on inventory forms from Vera (not her real name) who is a tenant
The first property: I have been renting the current property for a year. I am now leaving the property because the landlord wants to sell it.
Now when we have found another property to rent the landlord has advertised the property for rent. In the current property I have been asked to pay both the inventory check-in fee and check-out fee because it was stated in the tenancy agreement.
In the properties I have rented so far, the inventory check was conducted by the landlord and approved/confirmed by us. Hence whether or the cost of professional inventory inspection at the the time of check in and check out should be borne by the tenant or not was not know to us.
This property is furnished and well presented. We were charged 95£+ vat at the time of check-in. The cost of check-out is a total of £115. Is it fair to bear both the costs?
The agency says because they keep their admin fee low, both inventory check-in and check-out has to be borne by the tenant. And also since it is agreed upon by both parties in the tenancy agreement, there is very little that can be done. Is this fair?
The second property: The agent of the new property is letting a part furnished property which was initially advertised as furnished. The inventory check-in cost for the furnished property was 140+vat.
After putting an offer for the new property the agent got back and said the property is actually unfurnished. We tried to walk away from the deal but the agent kept pursuing us and finally agreed to provide some furniture since they advertised the property as furnished.
However, in the written offer they still state the property is furnished and the inventory cost is £140+VAT. I have pointed out to them that property is actually part furnished and that the cost of the inventory should also change accordingly. Lot of lies, manipulative statements have been made so far.
I don’t know which inventory clerk is going to do the inventory check-in. What are my rights? Why can’t I make a payment directly to the inventory clerk?
The first property
Here the answer is straightforward. Under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 clauses regarding payment of charges must be fair.
It is considered unfair for tenants to bear the cost of both checkin and checkout fees and so the clause in your contract requiring you to pay both will therefore be unfair and unenforceable.
So you can tell the agent this and refuse to pay it. If the agents deduct the sum from your deposit this is something you should be able to challenge via the free adjudication service.
The second property
This will depend on the charges structure for the inventory clerk used but many have a scale of charges where unfurnished or part furnished properties are charged out at a cheaper rate.
Again, here you should only be responsible for one of the inventory fees so make sure they are not planning on charging you for both.
From what you say, it sounds as if you don’t know what furniture is going to be provided to you, so I would check this out – before you sign the tenancy agreement. It may be that the furniture provided will actually bring the property into the furnished category.
As regards paying the inventory clerk direct, I don’t think this is normal – do any inventory clerk or letting agent readers have any comments on whether or not this could be done?