Why is it important to attach photos to written comments?
Why is it important to attach photos to written comments ?
In an era where digital is no longer an option for companies but a necessity, social media has changed the way we process information, resulting in visual content becoming more important than ever before, in contrast to the development of technology, the use of photo images in inventory reports has remained a controversial issue. It’s important to remember that the concept of inventories is there to protect, landlords and tenants alike, in assisting with the negotiation at the conclusion of the tenancy in regards to deposit disputes. This obviously means anything that helps provide evidence to support claims made by either party is a positive for our industry.
The question, does it actually matter who conducts the inventory and if, they decide to not include photographs, does it suggest they have no value if a deposit dispute is referred to an adjudicator?
The answer is No. The tenant’s signature in the case of an inventory conducted, either by a letting agent, or inventory clerk, is essential in demonstrating, that the tenant has been provided with the opportunity to comment on the report. The written detail of the report is of fundamental importance. Condition comments such as ‘good, satisfactory, or poor, are simply not enough to describe a condition within inventory, check-in and check-out reports.
Let’s consider a report where curtains have been professionally cleaned before the start of the tenancy and receipts provided, with notes stating a tear in the fabric including position and sizing. This provides adequate evidence of the condition of the curtains before the tenant has moved in. This detail is pivotal in providing clarity during disputes such as differences occurred during the tenancy.
The incorrect use of photographic evidence, is when photos replace detailed written comments. Photos should complement written detail and not replace it. In the ideal scenario, photos should be dated and time stamped, which the TIM app provides, to verify validity and relevance.
What does a good inventory look like?
A good inventory will contain a comprehensive list of its contents, including a detailed description of the condition and damage, supported by photographs that are date/time stamped, as well as the standard of cleanliness. This should be to limit subjective terminology and provide clarity of conversation to all individuals. As the saying goes ‘the devil is in the detail’, without it landlords/letting agents/tenants, provide the genuine risk of losing a deposit dispute.