Landlords are often busy people, particularly when they let multiple properties – in such situations few have the time to monitor and manage the properties in person. As such, it is common for landlords to contract out services to professionals such as inventory clerks. A duty of care is both implied and explicit to these relationships and in the event an inventory clerk or company neglects to perform his or her duty, grounds for a claim for professional negligence may arise.
What’s the value of a professional inventory?
Estate agents frequently advise landlords of the value of having an inventory, whether it is “in-house” or contracted to an independent specialist.
All inventories should be fit-for-purpose, consistent and detailed. This should help ensure that in the event there is some damage to a property during the time of a tenancy, it can be clearly identified from the inventory at the moment of check-out. Similarly, it will also help identify whether any items have been stolen or removed from a property.
As mentioned above, consistency is crucial to a good professional inventory. This means that all of content, description and format are clearly and consistently delivered – this will simplify the process of resolving any dispute.
The Association of Professional Inventory Providers
The Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) strives to set standards for all inventory providers, whether they are a real estate agent’s in-house professionals, or an independent, standalone businesses.
Ensuring an APIP member inventory professional should provide some level of assurance regarding competency, insurance, and compliance with the organisation’s Code of Practice.
Inventory clerk liability insurance
Just as with all professional trades where breach of duty carries a risk of financial loss, inventory companies are required to have liability insurance in place in order to cover themselves against the possibility of loss caused by negligence.
All inventory clerk professionals will have a policy that is suited to their needs, depending on the types of property they deal with, i.e. their value or historical significance.
Claims against these indemnity policies can be worth thousands of pounds. In fact, in high value properties or cases of multiple inventories, claims for professional negligence can actually run to six-figure sums.
Professional negligence lawyers at Healys
If you have suffered financial loss as a result of the negligence property professional, whether an inventory company, estate agent, surveyor, valuer, conveyancing solicitor or other, you may be entitled to make a claim for professional negligence.
Talk to our partners today for more information about your rights.