Check Out Reports

A quick tenant guide to preparing for your check out

What is contained within a property check out report?

Our check out service provides a detailed report on the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy. The check out document is compared to the inventory report in order to determine how the property has changed since the start of the tenancy. The report will record any items of damage, maintenance and the standard of cleanliness.  The reports includes both written and photographic information.

Taking into account the length of the tenancy and fair wear and tear guidance, we will assign responsibility of the item to the landlord or tenant within the report. For more information on fair wear and tear, please refer to the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme).

For example, if a white wall had been painted yellow, it would be the tenant responsibility to return it to the original colour. If however, there were scuffs and marks in the hallway appropriate to fair wear and tear, they would be marked as such.

Our inventory specialists are training to ARLA Propertymark standards, and understand the TDS guidance on fair wear and tear.

The contents and condition of each room will be assessed and any changes that have occurred from the start of tenancy inventory, will be recorded in addition to an overview section of the property.

Why a check out report is so important

The check-out report is an important document in the event of a dispute between the landlord and the tenant. If the dispute goes to independent arbitration then the adjudicator will be asked to review the dispute using the inventory and check out reports to form their final judgement.

As deductions can be made from the deposit to pay for repairs or cleaning, its important that the tenant checks both documents carefully.

Benefits of using the NLG check out service

  • Check out reports are conducted by inventory specialists who are trained to ARLA Propertymark standards, and are members of either ARLA or the AIIC (association of independent inventory clerks)
  • The reports provide a clear statement of the condition of the property at the point of move out
  • The reports can be used in the event of a dispute are represents an independent assessment.
  • We assign responsibility within the report

The most common disputes

The most common disputes include cleaning, mould, redecoration and damage.  Normally cleaning disputes focus on what standard and extent a property was clean at the start of the tenancy.


A check in inventory/schedule of condition should be very clear on the matter of cleanliness, and should define the standard of cleaning. Eg has it been domestically cleaned by the landlord or ere professional cleaners engaged. This creates the standard that the property can then be judged against at the end of a tenancy.

If a landlord has had a property professionally cleaned at the start of the tenancy, they can insist the property is professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. Landlords/agents should retain any invoices and receipts as evidence of professional cleaning prior to tenants moving in. It is not good enough for a tenant to merely clean the property to a domestic standard.

Any description of cleanliness issues should be clear to avoid misunderstanding. For example, a comment like “not clean” on an oven, is not very clear compared to “small crumbs to base, slight grease marks to back of oven”.


Another big area for disputes is mould, particularly in bathrooms. If there is no window, then ventilation should be installed, otherwise it is likely a claim for mould would fail.

Tenants should be made aware by their agent/landlord that mould is not wear and tear. Tenants should also be informed that they must not switch any ventilation fan off and if there is a window to open it to ventilate the bathroom. The same principles apply if a tenant is drying clothes in the property and not ventilating properly.


Most tenancy agreements prohibit redecoration without the permission from the landlord.

In many cases once permission is sought, the landlord will agree so long as the colours are agreed along with the standard of work.


It is important the tenant understands their liability and the cost of repair in order to agree deductions at the end of a tenancy. Betterment rules must also be taken into consideration.  For example, the tenant could not be charged the full cost of a new carpet for a large stain.

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