More extensive, detailed inventories can serve to increase the efficiency of landlord insurance when it comes to tenant disputes and protecting contents.
With the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) reporting that the duration of tenancies is at a record high, the need for comprehensive inventories is ever more prevalent due to the enhanced risk of damage to properties.
Taking into account this new information, the need for an inventory that covers as wide a range as possible could prove crucial to enhancing the protection such documents are designed to give landlords, as well as to avoiding disputes with tenants.
Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA, warned that an "increase in the length of tenancies will inevitably lead to greater wear and tear in rented accommodation." Essentially, as landlords have fewer opportunities to make adjustments to their properties during transitional periods between tenants, inventories could be vital as evidence of such processes.
ARLA has issued advice to landlords and tenants alike as a means to encourage the application of stricter, more thorough guidelines when completing inventories.
Taking pictures, accurately detailing any pre-existing problems and drawing up a full list of contents are all recommended as top ways to ensure inventories are both correct and effective. Indeed, an up to date and fully inclusive inventory that details contents also serves as a useful tool in the event of any burglaries that could take place.
Whilst landlords and tenants tend to split the cost of inventories, Mr Potter also added that "these costs should be seen as a necessary investment that helps protect them both," – an imperative aspect of entering into any rental agreement.
Clearly, the effectiveness of insurance for landlords can be enhanced by the application of greater scrutiny when drawing up inventories, both when it comes to disputes with tenants and safeguarding against the risk of burglary.