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As a landlord or letting agent, you will know how important it is to keep track of a property’s inventory. If the property is fully furnished, you will need a detailed record of each and every item. You will also want to record the condition of each item at check-in and check-out.

By keeping an accurate inventory you will know if anything is missing or damaged when you carry out an inspection or when the tenant leaves. That way, you will know if you need to deduct some or all of the deposit paid by the tenant or take another course of action.

Inventories can be kept electronically on your phone or tablet so you can do them as you walk around your property. This saves a great deal of time because you do not have to update the inventory when you get back to the office. It also means the tenant can sign the inventory on the spot.

This is where a specialist such as Inventory Base can help, with award-winning software allowing landlords, inventory clerks and letting agents to create and manage inventory reports, inspections, checking in tenants and checking them out again. You can produce reports at the property using any online device. You can also set up checklists, make voice recordings and take photos.

Being able to check the property online saves an enormous amount of time as you don’t need to go back to the office to type up your notes. It also means the notes are accurate as you are in-situ, which could be useful if they are needed as evidence in the event of a tenant dispute.

The ability to take photos is also valuable as they are a great back-up to your written notes. As additions to the inventory, they document the condition and layout of a room. That way, if a carpet is ruined or a tenant disagrees that the decor was perfect when he or she moved in, you can show them photographic evidence to the contrary.

They can also be used to show the garden as it was when the tenancy agreement was signed. Photos can show any plants, trees, outdoor furniture, lighting and the lawn. Therefore, if the garden is showing signs of neglect or is not in the same state when the agreement expires, any necessary action can be taken.

Photos can equally show the cleanliness of the property at the inception of the agreement which is useful if you feel the need to bring in the cleaners once a tenant leaves.

Photos can be taken before a tenant moves in and when the inventory is re-examined when they move out. If any damage or stains are detected, additional photos can be taken. It may be useful to hold a ruler next to any damage or to place an item, such as a book or table, near to it so you can see the size and extent of any damage.

Before and after photos may thus prove to the tenant that the property or a given inventory item is not in the exact same condition at check out or during an inspection. If need be, they could also be used as evidence in court.