Increased demand for rental property means there is an urgent need for landlords and tenants to develop and maintain an accurate inventory, according to letting agents.
The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) says that the sharp rise in demand for rental property in recent years, as highlighted in the latest English Housing Survey 2011-2012, means that the upkeep of rental accommodation now requires increased attention.
Figures from the survey show that the number of families privately renting their home has risen to its highest level since the 1960s with 3.8million living in homes owned by a landlord. By contrast, the number of homeowners in England has dropped to its lowest level for nearly a quarter of a century, representing just 65 per cent of the overall housing market.
An ARLA spokesman said: “Increasingly, would-be buyers unable to get onto the housing ladder due to financial constraints are looking to the Private Rented Sector to provide long-term renting solutions.
“Property deterioration during full time occupancy will only intensify as the demand for rental accommodation continues to rise. Creating an inventory that is agreed between the landlord and the tenant, and evidenced, can help to clarify situations where items get damaged, lost or stolen.
“We would encourage anyone thinking about moving into rented accommodation to speak with a local ARLA member agent who will be able to advise on how to compile an effective inventory.”
Top tips include taking images of the property before moving in can help to clarify responsibility if challenged by the agent or landlord. These should be shared and agreed with the agent and landlord and kept on file.