What is a Property Inventory?
Let us take you through what a ‘Property Inventory Report’ entails
In a nutshell:
A property inventory is a fair and accurate description of any property at the time of inspection. It should cover all areas including the front and rear garden, garages, outhouses and sheds as well as all of the internal rooms, furnishings, the condition, and cleanliness
- Full names and address details for the Landlord, Tenant’s, and Agent (When available)
- The Date for when the Inventory was carried out, along with the name of the Clerk
- Disclaimer if applicable
- A detailed list documenting the interior, exterior, décor, fixtures, and fittings
- Each aspect will have a description of their condition (e.g. Light scuff to surface)
- Meter readings, Serial number, and list of keys
- High-quality photographs embedded in the document
- All receipts relevant to the tenants (e.g. End of tenancy cleaning performed before tenant has been checked in)
- Signatures from Landlord and Tenants agreeing the Inventory
How the Inventory is used
Most commonly the inventory is used to avoid or resolve disputes or at the end of the tenancy to evaluate the condition of a property from start of the tenancy to the condition at end of tenancy. The report will be used as hard evidence to support whichever party is requesting the dispute at end of tenancy.
An inventory report can also be used to set up a positive relationship between you and your tenants, by having both parties agree on the condition of your property then you and your tenants can feel confident that both parties will enjoy a smooth tenancy period from start to finish.
Why do you need a property Inventory?
Without a property inventory, any situation which requires evidence to be presented in support of a claim will become an increasingly difficult situation. Throughout the tenancy, a tenant’s deposit is always regarded as their own personal asset. It will be held by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme throughout the tenancy period and will be released back to the tenant unless there is a valid claim for compensation from the landlord. If you as a Landlord feel you are legible to keep the tenant’s deposit at end of tenancy due to any damages caused by your tenant’s it is your responsibility to provide supporting evidence for the claims. Without an independent professional inventory report you will find it increasingly difficult to fight your case, this is made harder especially as a tenant will be considered eligible to receive the full deposit unless you as a Landlord can prove otherwise.
It is in this situation that you will be thankful that you have taken the time to organise a professional independent inventory report for your rented property, in a dispute you as a Landlord can highlight the areas which you feel you are owed compensation for and provide photographic evidence supporting this claim. The adjudicator of the dispute will also use this document to evaluate your claim and decide if the deposit is owed to you, the Landlord or your tenants.
For peace of mind, or as we like to call it Inventory Peace of Mind, ALWAYS have a full independent inventory report carried out with your rented properties at the start of a new tenancy. If you ever encounter a dispute situation with your tenant, you can feel confident that the outcome will be fair, non-bias and in favour of the party who has the legal right to the deposit.
Why it benefits you
In situations where a dispute is raised, you can ensure that you have a professional and clear document to aid you in your dispute. In many cases, this will ensure you as a landlord has the right to retain a deposit for any repair costs that may be required at the end of a tenancy. By having the Inventory report in place you can be confident that you will not be left out of pocket by your tenants causing damage to your property, this will avoid potential cases where you may not be able to let out your property again after a tenancy until it has been repaired back to a desirable letting standard.