When Inventories Go Wrong: The one that didn’t float the landlord’s boat…
As we continue to highlight the importance of a proper property inventory and what scrimping on inventories can do to your business, we’re looking at some real-life costly mistakes of agents and landlords, to help make our point.
Same Let, Different Property
You may or may not know, that some 10,000 people now reside on London’s waterways and nowadays, it’s not just for the city’s waifs and strays as some residential boats, costing in excess of £250k, outperform the living standards of many land properties resulting in a popular private rental programme between boat owners and savvy London professionals with a penchant for the alternative (we all know a few right?).
With a well presented 65ft narrow boat bringing in a minimum £650 a month rent, you can see why boat owners are keen to rent them out, but we spoke to one who relayed the following cautionary tale.
The Devil is in the Detail
When this female floating property mogul embarked on her first private residential boat let, she done her due diligence, background checks, identification, deposits and of course, an inventory. This was not a furnished let, other than the boat’s fixed fittings so our landlord believed that a basic inventory would do the trick, detailing what she thought was enough to see her through.
At the end of the six month tenancy, the resident cleared and vacated the boat. Overall things were in good standing, however, there was a large stain on the original wooden floor, seemingly caused by the spillage of a scented reed diffuser, and 4 of the boat’s 6 ‘fenders’ were missing.
Our landlord withheld the deposit and contacted the previous tenant. In response, they asked for a review of the inventory. In short, our landlord was left high and dry as the floor was not covered with images and the exact number of fenders had not been stated. The landlord was unable to claim for either and while the 4 missing fenders amounted to approximately £80, the original wooden floor was a lot more difficult and expensive.
The landlord in this case, managed the inventory herself. Her reason was not to save money, but that she genuinely thought that she could. Unfortunately, she learned the very hard way, that inventories take time and experience, to truly protect a property.
Please note, that if anything is missing from your inventory, and that is the thing which is damaged or lost, you cannot claim against the tenant.
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