Students – no other group seems to bring out such a double-edged reaction in the people who come into contact with them. To their parents they evoke feelings of overwhelming pride and intense worry. To the local community it can feel like they bring unruly behavior coupled with a positive boost to the local economy. For landlords they can be a great source of rental income with a terrifying checkout.

As we’re approaching the time of year when students are getting ready to leave their rental properties and set off into the big wide world, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks is advising agents and landlords to visit the properties in advance of checkout in an attempt to minimise disputes.

“Traditionally, students tend to leave properties in a state. They don’t worry about cleaning, gardening, putting furniture back in the right places, or even taking out all their belongings. They love to just dump stuff they don’t want in the house and just walk away’ claims Pat Barber, AIIC chair.

Here at InventoryBase we agree – to a degree. Obviously you can’t paint all students with the same brush as nearly all of them will have left home for the first time, and have usually had someone else cleaning up for them their entire lives. However this culture shock is no excuse for dirty and damaged properties.

A visit to the property ahead of the move out date ensures a landlord can reinforce and re-educate tenants about the moving out process, reminding tenants of their obligations before they are to leave the property. They can then talk openly with them about their plans to either return to the property next term or move out on clear and amicable terms.

It’s not about catching tenants out but about helping them to understand the responsibilities they have at checkout. In our experience being able to show the students a clear and detailed inventory of the property when they arrived, including descriptions and pictures, allows them to see what their time in the property has done. Once the inventory report has been viewed they can then be advised on how to get the property (factoring in fair wear and tear) back to the standard it was when they moved in.