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The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says it is ready to start the next chapter in its evolution after solid growth and achievements over the last 18 months despite the challenges posed by Brexit, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis.

The trade body, the UK’s leading association for inventory clerks, is set to outline its plan to refresh its board at its upcoming AGM and is keen to create an even more dynamic, forward-thinking organisation that thinks outside the box, looks outside of London and the South East to the regions, and helps hold government and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to account.

“Strong trade bodies with a united voice are more important than ever,” Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC, said.

National Landlord Investment Show – MPU

“The lettings industry continues to face uncertainty over both the timetable for rental reform, the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing fallout from Brexit and Covid, which means it’s important that new ideas, innovation and new voices continue to be heard to stop the market from regressing.”

Evans said the AIIC is eager to imitate the regional structure of something like ARLA and bring those who perform this critical task together nationally to ensure that when it comes to inventories, which play a vital role in the smooth running of the lettings industry on a day-to-day basis, the AIIC is at the forefront of the conversation.

“Going forward, we need to reach even further outside the remit of the AIIC and bring the whole industry on board, to swap ideas and drive innovation,” Evans said.

“Speaking to everyone from sole traders to big inventory companies and understanding the successes and struggles of each can help us to improve the sector as a whole, for all of us.

We need to collaborate to a greater extent than before – that’s the key word here.”

Evans says he and the AIIC are keen to create working groups within the industry – with key players from major letting agents, property companies and property management firms – to see how collaboration, training, professionalism and embracement of tech can help the industry to progress and tackle the challenges of the coming years.

“We want the association to be involved with working groups that look at the standards of training and the role of additional services in our industry,” Evans adds.

“We’re at an incredibly tough point for a lot of inventory companies, as we’re one of the few suppliers in the industry who really suffer from a downturn in transactions volume.

So we need to be working positively with the Housing Minister and others to address these issues and build on the successes we’ve had.”

He said the AIIC shouldn’t shy away from the need to change and evolve, and he cites the example of the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) as a great one to imitate and take inspiration from.

“The RPSA provide a great model for us to work towards.

As an independent association, they’ve managed to be included in a huge amount of government review boards, committees, etc, because they provide that independent voice in an industry where trust is an issue.

As truly independent suppliers, who represent landlords, tenants and agents, our voice can be amplified.”

Moving forward, the association has plans to engage with deposit schemes to increase the standards of reporting, roll out further training courses, deliver a better regional structure to encourage peer to peer networking and discussion of regional issues, and regular webinars on hot, topical topics.

Continued progress will also be made on the agreements made with several of the biggest inventory companies nationally and regionally to work as part of working groups in order to improve the sector for everyone.

“We need to answer the questions that matter to our industry, which can only happen if we take a positive approach moving forward collectively.

If re-elected at the upcoming AGM, I look forward to delivering a clear programme in the future which delivers for all the members of The Association and secures its position as the primary inventory body nationally,” Evans concludes.

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