Disgraceful Property Condition – Inventory Report

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    Disgraceful Property Condition – Inventory Report

    In the capacity of an independent Inventory Clerk, during the last couple of week’s, I have supplied property Inventory Reports to private landlords for properties based in England/Wales, both of these properties have also been marketed by local estate agents. The new tenants of both properties had already signed tenancy agreements(AST), prior to my inspection, and consequently aimed to take up residence imminently.
    The condition of both properties can only be described as beyond disgraceful and almost uninhabitable, obviously I cannot go into greater detail, but I append below are some examples and I also acknowledge the fact this was the condition of each property when the AST was signed.!
    • Cleanliness, can only be described as unbelievable.!
    • Bathroom and kitchen fittings insecure, fixtures insecure etc.
    • Electrical fixtures require major attention, sockets insecure etc.
    • Walls, major damage to plaster on walls
    I would be most grateful for your observations on the following:
    1. Landlord – How can the property be marketed in such an atrocious condition.?
    2. Estate Agent – Albeit they receive a fee for obtaining new customers(tenants), but the major problems associated with these properties are efficiently concealed within their adverts
    Thank you and I welcome your views

    How long have you been an Inventory clerk?
    Done any training for the job?


      The tenants saw it and signed up so there's a market for everybody


        I assume you alerted the landlords/agents. What was their reaction?


          My properties are way more upmarket -- but I cannot see what is surprising here. Landlords are unable to recoup cash stolen by tenants, are unable to recoup case lost due to damages in the lower reaches of the market, and operate using contracts which can only (in practice) be enforced unilaterally. So the best recourse is to put trash up to market.

          It's the inevitable outcome of regulation and statism of all sorts.

          As Hillsy says -- there is a market for everyone, and governments have created a trash market for both good and trash tenants.


            Cleanliness, damaged walls, insecure fixtures/fittings, as the others say low end market.

            Electrical fixtures require major attention, sockets insecure etc.
            More of a concern - have you warned LL/agent, in writing, that this is a safety hazard?
            I mean a written warning, not just a mention on the inventory.

            As a contractor working for the LL/agent you have a legal duty to report health and safety concerns.

            Apart from the potential hazard to any tenant it's a hazard in your workplace, especially if you are supposed to test these insecure fittings..

            As a professional housing inspector do you also have a duty of care to report safety hazards to council? (If you do not get an assurance that they have been/will be rectified and made safe).
            Get such an assurance in writing, or inform the council.

            CYOA is the principle here, if someone gets injured/killed by a faulty installation you may need to show that you reported the hazard.


              Landlords/ Agents have a number of legal and regulatory requirements which they need to fulfil in order to be compliant. If any of these in your professional opinion are not compliant you should state it in the inventory so both the landlord and the tenant can see it. It is not current law to have a electrical report for a property in England, but is required in Scotland.

              Rogue landlords, should be reported to the Council, agents should be reported to their professional bodies - this would then root out the rogue's in the industry and leave both landlords and tenants in a better place.


                It is not Inventory Clerk's resp to report rogue LLs to Council.
                I would be more concerned about quality of OPs reports.


                  Originally posted by mariner View Post
                  It is not Inventory Clerk's resp to report rogue LLs to Council.
                  It is a responsibility to report safety hazards.

                  LIke I said above report any concerns in writing, CYOA or leave yourself open to lawsuits.


                    Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                    It is a responsibility to report safety hazards.


                      The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

                      The HSE website has lots of stuff about reporting safety hazards at work.
                      (And someone doing an inventory is at work and the flat they are inspecting is their temporary workplace).
                      Here's just one - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg450.htm

                      Again though, it's mainly a matter of covering yourself by clearly pointing out the hazard.
                      If there should be an incident with the dodgy electrical fittings then your inventory/condition report could be scrutinised as evidence.
                      If you can show that your clearly warned the LL/agent of the hazard seperately as well then you have doubly covered yourself.


                        I think there are two issues here:

                        1) a tenant views a prospective property and is told that it will be cleaned and put in good order before they move in and then the landlord doesn't do it - that happened in my case.

                        2) people are so desperate for somewhere to live, especially if they have pets, that they will put up with anything. I find it really bizarre that so many appallingly bad tenants seem to have no problem finding new properties that they can trash and yet decent tenants struggle to ensure they don't end up homeless. The property that I am moving out of had a previous tenant, and judging from the debt collectors that came round they had run up massive debts at their previous property as well as the debts that they ran up at this one. They had no problem finding somewhere new to rent when they moved out of here, and yet I have never had a debt in my life, I keep the property clean, can show a good reference and bank accounts, always paid my rent on time (I actually paid it early to ensure it was always there in time), yet I am immediately discounted by agents the minute I mention a pet. It seems they have tunnel vision and don't look at the wider picture. I am having to move because the landlord wants the property and it looks as though ensuring I was a good tenant was a complete waste of time.


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