A report at the beginning of the 2020 year stated that 30% of landlord-tenant disputes were a result of tenants not receiving communications about why their deposit wasn’t being returned. The second most common cause for dispute was cleanliness (23%), and the third was damage to property (18%).
What is a property inventory?
A property inventory is a comprehensive report which details the state of your property at the beginning of a tenancy. It provides information on the furniture, fixtures, fittings and general wear and tear. Anything that is damaged or missing can be recorded in front of a new tenant.
Why is an inventory important?
The extensive details recorded in a property inventory provides the evidence to show the contents, condition and cleanliness at the start of the tenancy. A comparison report will be prepared at the end of the tenancy to determine if any damage occurred during the tenancy. This makes it easier to recover costs against a deposit or zero-deposit replacement insurance. Without this crucial evidence, landlords can find themselves liable for the cost of the damage. And on the other hand, without this evidence, a tenant can’t prove they weren’t responsible for some damage.
In addition to helping to place responsibility for property damage, the report also highlights any issues to be addressed at the start of the tenancy and provides tenants with a clear expectation of the state in which the property should be returned.
The benefit to all parties in preventing disputes makes inventory management an essential part of the property letting process and sets the relationship between landlord, agent, property manager and tenant off to a good start.
What should an inventory report include?
A comprehensive inventory report should include the following:
- A record of meter readings and keys provided
- The condition and cleanliness of each room, including appliances, fixtures and fittings
- A record of the condition of the garden
- A signature from the tenant confirming they agree with the contents of the report
- A record of the condition of the mattresses (if fully furnished)
- Date and time-stamped photos of the property and its contents
- A record of furniture and furnishing fire safety labels
- Evidence that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms comply with legislation
- A record of loose or frayed carpets, cracked glass or windows, missing keys and inoperable locks
Check In – Check Out
As important as the initial inventory report is, a check-out report recording the condition and cleanliness of the property as the tenant departs is equally important. This report, in conjunction with interim checks throughout the tenancy, documents any changes that have occurred to the property. This can be used to evidence to a tenant why deductions had to be made from their deposit. A sequence of reports also provides evidence for legal proceedings in the worst case.
No Letting Go
We offer an independent and unbiased professional reporting service, providing a written and photographic report on the condition of the property and its contents in addition to the standard of cleanliness. If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network could help you with your inventory management please contact us online or find your nearest branch.
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