Following the launch of our new self-inspection service, we have now launched our pre check out notes service all in-app.
To help support and promote best practice during these times of uncertainty, it’s vital for us as a business to continue to adapt our services to best suit our customer, and their customers’ needs.
Our new self-service pre check out notes template has been designed in direct response to the Tenancy Deposits Scheme (TDS) advice for managing tenants who are checking out during the pandemic.
They advised as follows:
‘In ‘normal’ times, a check-out report should be contemporaneous in order to show the condition of the property as close to the tenancy end date as possible, and to avoid any doubt about cleaning or damage being caused by anyone other than the tenant (for example, contractors or prospective tenants).
During the pandemic, we are relaxing this to suggest that the check-out should be completed within a maximum of 4 weeks from the tenancy end date. ‘
See full guidance here: https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/covid-19/
Whereas inventory clerks would normally make arrangements to meet the tenant at the property, collect keys and note any issues they want to raise – it’s impossible to do so under current advice to ensure that we all maintain our ‘social distance’.
So our self-service pre check out notes template allows tenants to advise of any issues by completing questions and uploading pictures via the InventoryBase app for these key areas:
Meter Readings: if there is a delay in completing the check out the tenant has accurate information and evidence to inform their utility suppliers
Keys: tenants are encouraged to list all the keys they are handing back to the landlord/managing agent as proof that they have been returned
Health & Safety: by checking the alarms before the leaving the property for the final time, the tenants can let the landlord/managing agent know that the property is protected
Property Security: the questions act as a prompt for the tenant to ensure the property is secured as they leave and gives the landlord/managing agent confidence if they cannot gain access during the pandemic
Room Notes: by taking pictures of the property, rooms and or areas of concern the tenant can alert the landlord/managing agent to any urgent maintenance issues and also showcases the condition of the property which the check out report can then refer to
It is important to understand that the pre check out report notes are NOT an alternative to the check out report; they merely help tenants to record any issues that they would normally advise the inventory clerk of during a check out report appointment.
By enabling a template to be downloaded under our self-service option; the report will automatically date and time pictures/video uploaded by the tenant and creates an audit trail of the report activity on the property so that when the final check out is completed by the inventory clerk the information is not ‘lost’ and all parties are protected.
In these exceptional circumstances; a complete audit trail of all communications (email, calls, texts) with the tenant and landlord/managing agent will help the adjudicator to understand the timescales involved should the deposit go to dispute so a full check out report should be conducted as soon as is practically possible and safe to do so after the tenant has left the property.
Steve Rad, managing director of InventoryBase said:
“Although moving during this time is not ideal we understand that for some tenants it is necessary. To ensure the safety of all, we have moved quickly to implement the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s advice by providing tenants with the option to record their comments or issues so that the agent/landlord have an indication of the general condition of the property whilst they wait for a check out to be completed. Our new self-service facility provides a zero-contact way to start the check out process, which can then be reviewed instantly and advice given or action taken by the landlord or managing agent if needed giving peace of mind to all.”
The self-service facility is available now to all existing InventoryBase customers and via clerks using the software to provide reports to letting agents and landlords.
Guidance for providers can be found here.
Guidance for tenants to complete reports online can be found here.
Please also be sure to look at the FAQ for Self Service Report – Tenant Pre Check Outs.
InventoryBase has the facility to transfer existing reports from alternative reporting systems should providers want to switch to carry out mid-term inspections remotely – sign up here.