The recent court ruling that pop star Tulisa Contostavlos must pay her former landlord more than £70,000 after an inventory report showed she had “trashed his flat” is a warning to both landlords and tenants about the importance of inventories.
Tulisa, a former X Factor judge, denied she had caused the damage to the £1m flat she had rented, saying it was “normal wear and tear,” but the judge ordered that she must pay up. The court had heard how the inventory recorded damage including a smashed sink, cigarette burns and a ripped-off fridge door.
Anya Mathewson, Letters’ Managing Director, said: “A proper, professional inventory is often crucial in cases like this where tenants and landlords are in dispute about damage caused during a tenancy.
Inventories “give peace of mind”
“We make a point of carefully vetting both landlords and tenants to ensure both understand their responsibilities, so disputed damage at our properties is rare. But we still conduct detailed, impartial inventory checks on properties we manage to protect both sides of a letting agreement and give them peace of mind.”
It is not a legal requirement for landlords to provide inventory reports of each property’s contents and condition. But doing so, and requiring new tenants to check and sign the report when they arrive and when they leave, protects both sides. Landlords find it encourages tenants to take care of the property and tenants don’t find themselves losing their deposit for damage that was already there when they moved in.
As experienced letting agents, the Letters team accept and recognise general wear and tear and will have records of any damage and/or repairs incurred during the tenancy of properties they manage. Letters also carry out mid-tenancy inspections to ensure properties are well-maintained and to assess whether any repairs need to be made.