AIIC Urges All to Follow Property Inventory Rules Diligently
LONDON: Serious concerns have been raised by landlords and property vendor groups about the damage inflicted by tenants with their frequent violations of garden areas in terms of its structure, character and content by unauthorized changes resorted to the layout of the gardens.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) has raised this issue seriously and pointed out that a heavy burden has fallen on the landlord in terms of its restoring the property to the original condition, after the tenancy expires.
Says Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC: “The recent case of David and Elaine Rolfe who spent £19,000 and 10 years to turn a two-acre plot of rented ornate garden is an example. The couple made drastic changes in the arbours and flower beds without taking the prior approval of their landlords”.
Ultimately the landlord took the tenant to task and demanded the couple to pay a £5,000 bill to get the garden dug up and covered with gravel at the end of the tenancy.
This may be dismissed as an extreme case, but there are many cases where changes and alterations have raised alarm, These changes made to the properties without the landlord’s consent have started surfacing. This includes changes in driveways, installation of ponds, decking and paving.
Sometimes even additional outbuildings have been erected like large sheds and greenhouses. As per rules, if the landlord does not like these changes, then tenants must pay up for its dismantling and removal.
Some common changes by tenants are:-
· Putting shingled areas by altering borders and lawns
· Leaving garden ornaments and old plant pots
· Digging in ponds and water features
· Leaving garden sheds or greenhouses
Written Consent a Must
The AIIC warns that a tenant cannot get away with these violations calling them mere ‘improvements’
But tenants are not responsible to keep the plants green and their obligation is limited to maintaining the landlord’s garden and returning it the same, or similar condition, at the time of check in.
The AIIC stands for professionalism in the property inventory sector and works to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the benefits of professionally completed property inventories.
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