Swapping tenants mid tenancy ~ Importance of tenants attending check out.

Check Outs:

In a recent survey in September 2015 the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) reported that nearly 50% of tenants do not bother to attend check outs.
The survey was of 8035 tenants and those that had not attended are a reported huge 48%, nearly half of which said they had not been invited to attend or were simply not informed.
Assist Inventories always invited tenants to attend the check out report as this can sometimes cause problems for any disputes no matter how minor when returning the tenants deposit. Tenants are not always available to attend the check out if they can’t get time off work, have already moved to a different area or are simply not bothered but we always urge them to and can send reports for electronic signing to speed up the process.

It is important for tenants to attend check outs so we can go through the report with them at the end of the check out and mention any damaged items, get them to agree and sign the report before sending to the agency or landlord to save extra admin at the deposit return stage dissolving any unnecessary disputes or nasty surprises.
We think that tenants must take more responsibility for their check out reports and properly preparing the property prior to the check out taking place; putting items back in the same rooms they were in at check in is a big factor to avoid any unnecessary disputes wasting time and money, ensuring all of their belongings no matter how low value are removed from the property and that the clean is done properly to at least the same standard as check in before the check out report can be completed. Read more about cleaning issues at check out here.

Tenant Swaps:

We are often asked to carry out check out inspections when there is a change of one of a group of tenants mid tenancy. This has always presented problems. Here are some wise words from Jane Erskine, Casework Director of the Property Ombudsman as quoted in a recent Negotiator magazine.

“Best practice (in this situation) would stipulate that either a new tenancy or an addendum agreement be drawn up as it may be impractical to conduct a check out during occupation of a group of students. The agent should ensure that there is a clause in the agreement, or confirmation in writing to show that incoming tenants agree to take on the previous tenant’s obligations in respect of the state of the property. This provides a link with the first tenants and the original check in document. Where there is no link this could have serious consequences on a landlord’s claim against the tenant’s deposit.”

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