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Monday, September 13, 2010

Tips On Tenancy Deposit Disputes 13: Interim Inspections

Tip 13: Make periodic inspections
Interim inspections are considered best practice in lettings if a tenancy subsists for longer than an initial six month fixed term. By periodically inspecting the property for obvious damage, you are ensuring that your capital asset is properly maintained and protecting yourself from the kind of expensive repairs that can be necessary if minor repairs are neglected.
For the purposes of claiming the deposit at the end of the tenancy, evidence of regular inspections shows that you take a proactive and professional approach to property management, and a series of inspection reports documenting a deterioration in the condition of the property can be particularly powerful.
Interim inspections may also help to prevent disputes from arising in the first place. Let’s take as a hypothetical example an area of damage to paintwork on the stairs. If the tenant is only alerted that you consider the damage to be in excess of wear and tear after the tenancy has finished, they may be more likely to dispute your claim on the deposit. If, on the other hand, you had raised your concerns with them after an inspection several months earlier, they would have had adequate opportunity to reflect on the matter and repair the damage before moving out.
Tom Derrett is the Principal of Deposit Claim, an ex-adjudicator and an expert on the Deposit Protection Schemes.

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