Landlords who rent their properties out are often hit by the inflated prices charged by letting agents to do property inventories. Most landlords don't realise that letting agents don't write property inventories themselves but they outsource this task to specialist property inventory services companies who do. To avoid the extra premium that is charged by a letting agent for property inventory services landlords can deal with these service providers directly.
If you want to find a good property inventory services provider here are a few things to look for:
1. Membership of a Professional Association
Find out whether the property inventory services provider is a member of a professional association. In the United Kingdom there are two notable professional associations which lay out the standards which must be met in order for inventory providers to be accepted for membership. These are the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC). Membership of either one of these associations is a good starting point to find out whether your provider will give you a good professional level of service.
2. Look Out for Sample Reports
Ask a potential provider for sample reports. If they have a website then they should have sample reports posted on their website. Sample reports will give you an idea about how detailed or comprehensive their inventory reports are. Inventory reports should have enough detail for it to be informative and useful. Good property inventory reports should also contain numerous photos of the rooms and items in it. Photos are important as they convey far greater information about the condition of rooms, furniture, and electrical items than words. You can compare the reports given by different inventory providers and go with the company you are happy with.
3. Reviews and Testimonials
You can also get an indication of the quality of service by reviewing customer feedback. Business directories such as Yell.com have a section where customers leave feedback on the businesses that are listed on it. Google will also have customer reviews on businesses in your area which can be accessed by searching for inventory providers through Google Maps.
4. Transparent Pricing
Look at the prices charged by these providers and make sure that they are upfront with their pricing policy. Most property inventory services providers charge their fees by determining how large a property is. This is most often done by counting how many bedrooms there are in a property and charging a fixed fee for each other room. Be careful if there are many items in the property since some companies may charge you extra if they find that there are an excessive number of items in the property when they get there. You should therefore contact the inventory services provider and give them an accurate account of the number of items in the property so that a fixed price can be agreed.
By Annabelle Smith
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