If you’re new to renting your ‘deposit’ can be a big scary word. Loads of money up front before you can even set foot in your new home. It can be daunting, especially as there’s no guarantee you’ll see any of it again. So what do you do?

Your landlords and agents are protecting themselves incase you turn out to damage their property – so you should protect yourself too. By ensuring you have a proper professional inventory carried out at the start of your tenancy you’ll be in a much better position at the end of it.

According to a recent survey the average tenancy deposit now stands at £1,210 which is up £121 or 11.1 per cent in the past year. This sharp rise is a stark reminder to anyone looking to rent that you will need a sizeable chunk of money put aside for a deposit before you start looking for your new home.

So looking after your deposit has never been more important. If you have an inventory in place at the start of your tenancy it doesn’t just show what furniture was in the property when you arrived – a good inventory will tell you everything about the property – including crucial details like the state of the walls, floors and ceilings. Accurately recording this is the best way to ensure there are no disputes come check-out time.

The inventory isn’t just for your landlord – it provides you with a detailed snapshot of the standard your property was in on arrival. You can then refer to it when you want to make sure you’re looking after your home to the best of your ability.

It’s important to bear in mind that a landlord cannot charge you for any ‘fair wear and tear’ in the property. To find out the difference between wear and tear and ‘damage’ there are lots of handy guides online to help make it clear.

So with deposits at an all time high it makes sense to look after yours. After all as you move on to your next property you’ll probably need your whole deposit!

Inventories are put in place to make sure everything is fair – so good luck in your new home and make sure you get the best inventory possible.