Inventory pictures don't necessarily say 1,000 words, agents warned
Too many agents are using digital evidence to replace essential written descriptions in inventories at check-in and check-out, leaving landlords exposed to potentially costly disputes over wear and tear, warns the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
The trade body says an increasing number of landlords and property professionals are providing photography and video evidence in place of thorough and detailed reports in deposit dispute cases.
The association says that photographs and video can provide good illustration, but are not at all helpful without a detailed inventory.
Pat Barber, chair of the AIIC, said: “We have seen some excellent inventories with the right balance of detail, supported by photography and video. But, more often than not, the photographs submitted in inventories are little larger than thumbnails and hence make it extremely difficult to see detail.
“To back up a damage issue, along with a detailed description, any photographs need to be of a reasonable size, so that the damage can be actually seen clearly. A glossy inventory that relies heavily on photographs will be of little use in a dispute.”
According to the AIIC, there is no point in producing a picture book for an inventory, with very little proper description and hundreds of photographs.
Barber says photography and video are great for large areas of damage such as carpet burns, serious damage to worktops and interior décor etc, but not for showing really fine detail such as small chips and scratches in sinks and baths, knife marks on worktops, and scratches to halogen hobs.