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Landlords Warned to Take Care When Using Digital Photos for Inventories
Landlords and letting agents are being warned over the use of digital photos. According to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) some are using photos instead of taking the time to give written descriptions in inventories, leaving them at risk of disputes over wear and tear at the end of a rental term. It points out that although photos are useful, they cannot replace a written description which gives detail about the property and its contents, and the location of any existing damage at the start of the tenancy. The written description can be backed up by the use of video and photographs providing they are of high quality so the damage is clearly visible.
Following these guidelines means landlords and letting agents in Nottingham will have clear evidence to support any disputes, as the law places responsibility on them to provide proof of damage. The AIIC often sees extremely small photographs used in inventories which make it nearly impossible to see any existing damage. Photographs need to be of a reasonable size, must be dated, and must be backed up with a detailed description. When photographed properly this type of inventory can be very useful for documenting evidence of large areas of damage but is less useful for showing smaller areas of damage that are frequently seen on checkout.
The AIIC advises that photographs should include something showing the scale of what has been shown, and should be backed up with a clear description about the item, including colours as poor quality printers can often distort these. In addition they should be a reasonable size, and the photographer should check the camera automatically prints the date on the picture. Ideally photos should be printed on a good quality printer, and ink cartridges should be replaced at regular intervals before they begin to run out.