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Question

Inventory Schedule of Condition (England)

Uncertified Inventory Clerk.

4 Jun 2016 | 3 comments

We have a rental property that has been rented on a AST for only 22 months. Due to problems with the tenant we decided not to renew their tenancy. There were a few problems with property, small damage to walls, doors and carpets. etc. Not to mention the Apple tree cut down. While negotiating the level of claim with the tenant, agent and check-out clerk we have discovered that the check-out clerk responsible for both check-in and check-out inventories/reports was not as she purported to be a qualified member of AIIC, Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. This came to light after I challenged the quality and accuracy of the reports with our agent and ask for an addendum to cover missed items. The clerk was less than happy with the quality of her work being challenged. I contacted the AIIC for guidance on their dispute and complaints procedure’s against an AIIC member. This is when we discovered that they were not members of AIIC for 26 years as stated on their paper work and reports which also carried the AIIC Logo’s.
We now have a dispute with the tenant over the level of claim against the deposit. With this discovery neither can rely on the reports as to any legal standing. What would the GRL suggested as a way forward?
I am sure our property managing agent has been duped as well and they were not aware that this Inventory clerks failings.

Answer

3 Comments

  1. guildy

    I see no reason why the inventory couldn’t be used as evidence due to the lack of being a member of any association. If the quality of the inventory is not great I accept it would then be difficult – but that’s based on the quality, not the lack of membership.

    I think simple things such as the apple tree should be straightforward – if the inventory shows one to start with and now there isn’t, it’s clear. It gets more difficult if there are marks not shown on the inventory so less clear when they were made.

    I think you should somehow save the inventory company’s website showing the membership in case they remove it before somebody can act. You could take screenshots or see this article.

    To claim to be a member of a trade body when they are not is an offence under regulation 3 The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Regulation 3 is an offence if the commercial practice is listed in schedule 1 to those regulations (amongst other things).

    Schedule 1 contains as one of the prohibited activities as:

    Displaying a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without having obtained the necessary authorisation.

    It is the duty of the local weights and measures authority (the same people in the council who check liquor licensing) to enforce the regulations. That means if your complaint is founded, they must enforce it.

    The offence is a criminal offence and liable to a penalty or imprisonment. It’s about as serious as it gets in consumer law!

  2. Techead53

    Many thanks Guildy,
    The AIIC office were one step ahead of me. I received an email asking for any documentation which included or displayed their logo and statements that this member was claiming to be a member of the AIIC. I have sent them the three documents I have, check-in, check-out and my request for an addendum, which in the inventory clerks response, states she is a member of the AIIC for 26 years. It was never my intention to open up this bag of worms, all I wanted was an accurate set of documents to protect my interests and that of the tenant. Un-fortunately this tenant is one of life’s takers and chancer and will use this position to make a challenge to the deposit claim we are making for various damages. Who should I challenge for any losses should that be the case?

    • guildy

      If any losses are incurred as a direct result of the inventory company not being a member then you will be able to claim from the inventory company those losses. However, as discussed above, I think the fact they are claiming to be a member of the association will be dealt with separately and perhaps a fine issued.

      I don’t see why the inventory can’t be used as evidence. It’s not like the inventory clerk must be a member of any association by law or anything.

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