Inventory reports, interim inspections and check-out reports are an essential part of the tenancy process for both landlords and tenants. They serve as a record of the condition of the property at the beginning, during and after a tenancy, which can prove vital in case of unwanted disputes while ensuring tenants are held responsible for any damage they cause.
For landlords, right at the beginning of a tenancy, an inventory report provides a baseline for the condition of the property. Against this baseline, landlords can compare against the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.
This is a key way for landlords to identify damage or wear and tear caused by the tenant. If a tenant is responsible, the landlord has documentation and evidence to prove exactly that or to determine whether the tenant receives their full deposit back.
For tenants, inventory reports are equally as important. They provide an opportunity to document any pre-existing damage or issues with the property. Check-out reports are also important for tenants because they allow them to ensure that they are not held responsible for any pre-existing damage or wear and tear.
Again, this all amounts to a transparent, reliable record that helps prevent disputes between the two parties. However, despite this, landlords tend to make the same common mistakes with their inventory and check-out reports. By highlighting these mistakes, we hope to provide solutions for avoiding them, so landlords can carry out successful inspections that bring peace of mind to themselves and their tenants.
Common landlord inventory report, interim inspection and check-out report mistakes
1. Not being adequately prepared for the inspection
One reason why landlords may fail to prepare for inspections is a lack of understanding of their purpose. By understanding that inventory reports document the condition of the property before the tenant moves in, while check-out reports assess any damage or wear and tear that has occurred during the tenancy, landlords can better prepare for them. This mistake can have serious consequences, such as missed damage, disputes with tenants and even legal issues.
Another common reason for a lack of preparation is one all-too-familiar with many landlords – a lack of time. Landlords are often busy with their other responsibilities, like managing multiple properties or attending to maintenance issues, so they may not have enough time to prepare for an inventory or check-out report.
To avoid this common mistake, the solution is simple. Landlords should prioritise inspections and schedule them well in advance, setting aside dedicated time to prepare. One way landlords can prepare for an inspection is by creating a checklist of everything they need to cover or by using a mobile inspection app to schedule property visits and carry out inspections digitally, rather than on paper.
2. Not accurately documenting the property condition
Another common mistake that landlords make during inventory reports and check-out reports, as well as mid-tenancy inspections (otherwise known as interim or periodic inspections), is failing to document the condition of the property accurately and thoroughly. This can lead to disputes with tenants over damage or wear and tear and can make it difficult for landlords to prove their case if the matter goes to court.
One reason why landlords may not document the condition of the property adequately is a lack of time or resources. However, taking the time to accurately and thoroughly document the condition of the property can save landlords time and money in the long run.
Just like a lack of preparedness, to avoid this mistake landlords are advised to create a detailed checklist that covers all areas of the property, including the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, windows and fixtures. They should also take photographs or videos of the property before and after the tenancy to provide visual evidence of any damage or wear and tear.
3. Not involving the tenant in the inspection process
Another mistake landlords make is failing to involve the tenant in the interim inspection and check-out report process. This can lead to disputes over whether any damage was pre-existing or if it was caused during the tenancy.
To avoid this, landlords should involve the tenant in the interim inspection check-out report process and have them sign off on the inventory report, too. Not only can this help to ensure that both parties agree on the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy, but it also fosters a good relationship between the landlord and the tenant throughout.
Communication is essential in any landlord-tenant relationship. Failing to communicate with tenants during inspections can lead to misunderstandings, disputes, and even legal issues down the road, so involving the tenant in any interim inspections, as well as the check-out report, can remove confusion and lead to a more amiable result when all is said and done.
4. Failing to address maintenance and repair issues
One of the primary responsibilities of a landlord is to maintain and repair their rental property, whether they carry out the repairs themselves or use contractors. This also includes addressing maintenance and repair issues during inventory and check-out reports. Failing to note and repair these issues can lead to further damage, or possibly even safety hazards.
Failing to identify and address maintenance and repair issues during the inspection can lead to issues being overlooked. But eventually, they will become more serious and costly to repair. That’s why it’s especially important to conduct a thorough inspection and identify any maintenance or repair issues that need resolving.
How to avoid common landlord inventory report, interim inspection and check-out report mistakes
One effective way for landlords to avoid common inventory and check-out report mistakes is to use a mobile inspection app. These apps provide a convenient and efficient way for landlords to conduct inventory checks, check-in and check-out reports, as well as periodic inspections which are also vitally important.
There are many key benefits of using a mobile inspection app, not least because it can help landlords to capture detailed information about the condition of the property. Being able to take photos and videos from their smartphone and save them directly into the inspection document makes it easier to identify who is responsible for any damage or repairs.
Another benefit of using a mobile inspection app, and one that is becoming increasingly important in today’s fast-paced world, is that it can streamline the inspection process. Landlords can quickly and easily conduct inspections on their mobile devices, and an inventory and check-out inspection app can automatically generate reports of the inspections. This can save a lot of time and effort on the part of the landlord, without losing any accuracy or detail.
Additionally, mobile inspection apps can help landlords to stay on top of their inspection schedule and maintain inventory and check-out reporting best practices. With the ability to set reminders and notifications, landlords can ensure that inspections are conducted frequently and, perhaps more importantly, on time. This can help to prevent issues from going unnoticed for too long, ensuring that the property remains in good condition throughout the entire tenancy period.
To get the most out of a mobile inspection app, landlords should choose an app that is user-friendly and provides all the features they need. This may include customisable or bespoke inspection templates, pre-made templates for frequent inspections or risk assessments, the ability to generate detailed reports and send them to all parties, as well as the ability to integrate with other tools, like accountancy or property management software.
Mobile inspection apps present a great opportunity for landlords to stay on top of their schedule, be prepared for all inspections and avoid common inventory report, periodic inspection and check-out report mistakes. With thorough, detailed inspections made possible through apps like Inventory Base, landlords can save time, costly repairs and unwanted tenant disputes.
Sign up for a free trial today and see the benefits for yourself, or outsource your inventory checks, interim inspections and check-out reports through InventoryBase Workstreams to free up your time – get the professionals in!