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  • Videoing a letting house to avoid rows over damage


Hi tech landlords are turning to video recordings as evidence in disputes with tenants over retaining deposits for leaving a rental property in a poor state of repair.'s online dispute service is now receiving five videos a week, a figure that is rising as landlords and letting agents realise that clear evidence must be produced if they wish to withhold all or part of a deposit at the end of a tenancy.

To retain all or part of the deposit, a landlord must provide evidence for damage or other costs. Many landlords and agents failed to provide good evidence to reclaim deposits when protection rules came in, and only now are becoming more professional in proving their cases.

11 top tips for your buy to let video shoot

For landlords who want to protect their interests against bad tenants, here are 11 top tips for making a video log:

  1. Don’t forget the outside. Broken fences are expensive to repair and rubbish that needs clearing from gardens is expensive to shift if you don’t have a van.

  1. Go CSI – run up some L-shaped rulers on your computer with a clearly visible scale to put besides marks and stains. Take some Blu Tac to stick them to walls.

  1. Take a tape measure to put down beside larger marks or damage

  1. Good lighting makes clear video – shoot in the daytime with the lights on.

  1. Take a general view of each room then focus on specifics close-up

  1. Have a sensible running order through the house – start at the front door, go round the downstairs then move upstairs. Commentate as you go so anyone viewing knows which room you are in.

  1. Switch the date and timestamp on before you record

  1. Make a written inventory as you go

  1. Video the meter readings, including the water meter.

  1. Show any items like white goods or a TV working – including the lights and taps.

  1. Keep a backup copy of your video on DVD in case the tape is lost or damaged

Don’t forget not all tenants are bad - only 0.61% of tenancies protected by end in dispute - a tiny number of the 403,146 deposits protected.