Ask a property manager to define what key reports they need to do their job and they will refer to documents such as the tenancy agreement, Right to Rent checks, deposit certificate, EPC, gas safety, EICR.
All are vital documents however often it is the inventory or check in report that often gets left off the list.
So the planning and preparation needed for a successful (and hopefully) trouble free tenancy has to start from the moment a tenant expresses their interest or puts down a holding deposit.
Property inspection reports require an immense amount of proactive work from an experienced and qualified inventory clerk. Unfortunately though, providers often end up being the last person to be contacted in order to do a report.
This includes being called up by a frantic agent looking to book a report just as the tenant is about to pick up the keys or, as in some cases, after they have already moved in!
We can all agree; this is not an ideal situation for any party. So what do agents and landlords need to do?
Understanding the clerk’s role in the tenancy process
An inventory professionals’ overriding priority is to accurately capture and record all aspects of the property that the tenant will be renting and will be held responsible for.
They do this by producing a detailed account of both the structural and decorative status, the quality and (for some providers) the serviceability of its fixtures and fittings, as well as the condition and quantity of its furnishings and other contents.
A fact based impartial report from which all parties can agree on is key to ensuring that the landlord and tenant are equally protected and is every providers ultimate goal.
How do they do this?
To compile a detailed inventory and check out report, the most efficient option is to use a property inspection app which Inventory Base specialises in.
This makes the job of reporting on a property a whole lot easier and more time efficient because of the tools and customisable templates provided that help prompt and structure the content, reference pictures and minimise disputes.
An inventory clerk understands the need to organise bookings so will always look for the cooperation of both the agent, landlord and tenant (depending on report type) to ensure a timely delivery of the report.
Reports should always be booked as soon as is practical and certainly with an eye on the date and time the tenants are due to pick up keys or end the tenancy.
Enough time should be allowed between the check out and subsequent inventory to deal with maintenance issues and also ensure that should the property require a professional clean there is enough time to book the relevant trades to get the property looking its best!
Providers often work to very tight timescales as they appreciate that many tenancies are time sensitive especially during busy months such as student move-ins during peak summer months.
The key to helping to ensure a smooth tenancy; the number and types of bookings being taken should be diarised to avoid overbooking and allow sufficient time for the clerks to complete the reports.
The Inventory Base system will automatically offer the available slot using Live Bookings automatically which calculates availability based on existing bookings, team holidays, periods unavailable and geography of the booking.
Clerks can then schedule appointments days or even weeks in advance to make sure there will be no delays or disruptions to the tenancy process.
The importance of precision
Conscientious inventory clerks and providers put a great deal of time, energy and expertise into their reports and the process to ensure both the landlords assets and the tenants deposit are protected.
To deliver a robust and factual report and service takes time so the last thing any clerk, agent or landlord wants is a rushed job so planning and preparation are the key to managing property reports.
Precision is vital, so allow enough time to complete all the tasks need to start the tenancy i.e gas, electrical and EPC certificates as well as maintenance, cleaning and any other jobs needed to get the property to a habitable and rental standard.
- Always book the reports as soon as possible – this secures the time and date slot
- Diarise all jobs/reports on Inventory Base so that clerks are tasked and can equally plan especially if working with multiple companies and agents
- Confirm the bookings with tenants if meeting them to hand over keys at check in or check out
- Use the tools on Inventory Base to keep an audit trail of all activity in case of dispute
- Communicate with landlords so that the property is ready for the report to be done and the tenant to move in
Inventory Base has all the tools an inventory provider, property manager and letting agent needs to ensure that each and every report is booked, tracked and delivered on time and in time for the tenants to start to enjoy their new home or move on to their next property.