Landlords, why you need a property inventory

Ever rented out a property without an inventory report? This article will highlight the importance of why a report is crucial every time a tenancy begins.

As a landlord how likely are you not to take a deposit from a tenant/s? Did you know without a comprehensive inventory it could become very difficult at the end of the tenancy to retain any money from the tenant’s deposit for any dilapidations or any cleaning issues that the tenants may have caused? With the biggest dispute in 2016 having £18,000 at stake we feel (and I am sure you will after reading the remainder of the article) that an inventory report is a must.

An important thing to remember is the deposit belongs to the tenants unless you as a landlord can prove otherwise. The ‘burden of proof’, a term used a lot by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme remains with the landlord at all times and subsequently, you need to prove why you should be awarded a monetary value from the deposit to contribute to either a dilapidation or for any cleaning issues. With the average deposit in the UK standing at £1223.61 there is a substantial amount of money on account and how awful would you feel if you couldn’t prove the condition of your property when your tenants took possession. With an inventory compiled by Hinch PM your concerns are a thing of the past.

Without a comprehensive inventory that includes notes of the condition and cleanliness of each item in the property, ensuring the colour and material are also noted, you will find when it comes to the end of tenancy and a check out report is produced it becomes almost impossible to apportion liability. Again this refers back to the burden of proof, without all information being clearly documented and agreed at the beginning of the tenancy how can you prove the changes that have occurred have occurred during the current tenancy?

A common question we are often asked is can a landlord compile an inventory themselves? The answer to this question is yes however it does not carry as much weight at the end of a tenancy should a dispute arise. It is deemed a landlord will always have a vested interest which is why having an inventory carried out by an independent company will always look favourable by an independent governing body set up to resolve disputes fairly. Of course, they only become involved should the landlord and tenant not be able to resolve the dispute between themselves, but with disputes rising by 25% in 2016 it is becoming more and more common.

So why are disputes on the rise? With the readily available information about the adjudication process tenants becoming more and more aware of their rights making it harder and harder for a landlord to hold any money from a tenants deposit without having the correct documentation. The inventory is a vital document to ensure you as a landlord and your property is protected against any negligence.

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