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Property reports are an essential part of rental property management in the private rented sector (PRS). They play a pretty significant role in protecting against disputes and potential financial losses for all parties involved – not just landlords, but tenants and letting agents, too.

However, despite the majority of tenancies going without a hitch, property reports are still indispensable because they act as a safeguard against potential issues, helping to protect against unknown eventualities that can and do arise from time to time.

In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of property reports, the various types in use today, and a handful of best practices for landlords, agents, and inventory clerks to ensure a trouble-free tenancy every single time.

What is a property report?

Property reports are detailed documents that capture the condition and contents of a rental property at various stages of a tenancy. They serve as a vital record, offering evidence in case of disputes between landlords and tenants.

Documenting the state of the property helps to minimise the risk of conflicts and potential disputes, ensuring that any changes, damages, or maintenance issues are appropriately addressed and logged for future reference.

Types of property reports

The main types of property reports include inventory reports, check-in/check-out reports, and interim inspections. Each type serves a specific purpose in the rental property management process. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  • Inventory Reports: These reports provide a comprehensive account of the property’s condition and contents before a tenant moves in.
  • Check-in Reports: These are conducted when a tenant takes possession of the property, capturing any changes since the inventory report.
  • Interim Inspections: These periodic reports assess the property’s condition during the tenancy, identifying any maintenance issues early on.
  • Check-out Reports: These reports document the property's condition at the end of the tenancy, highlighting any changes or damages since the check-in.

Key reports in rental property management

Inventory report

The inventory report is crucial as it sets a benchmark of the property's condition and contents before a tenant moves in. It details the state of the property, fixtures, fittings, and furnishings. Acting as a clear record, it ensures that tenants know what they are responsible for, thus preventing disputes over the property's condition at the end of the tenancy.

Check-in report

The check-in report is conducted when the tenant moves in. It compares the property's condition at this point with the inventory report. This report is vital for capturing any changes or issues that have occurred since the inventory was taken, and it serves as additional protection for both the landlord and the tenant by ensuring that both parties agree on the property's state at the beginning of the tenancy.

Interim report

Interim inspections are optional but highly recommended. These reports are conducted periodically, typically every six months, to assess how the property is being maintained. Regular interim reports help identify any maintenance issues early, allowing them to be addressed before they become significant problems.

Check-out report

The check-out report is prepared at the end of the tenancy. It compares the property's condition to that recorded in the check-in and inventory reports. This report identifies any damages, changes, or losses, helping to determine whether any deductions from the tenant's deposit are justified. Timely and accurate check-out reports are essential for resolving any end-of-tenancy disputes.

The role of the Inventory Clerk

Inventory clerks play a front-and-centre role in the tenancy process. Their primary responsibility is to accurately capture and record the property's condition and contents. This impartial documentation – impartiality being the key here – is crucial for protecting the interests of both landlords, and the agents that represent them, as well as the tenants. A well-prepared inventory report sets the bar, serving as a reliable reference in case of disputes.

Use of property inspection apps

Modern property inspection apps, such as Inventory Base, simplify the inspection and reporting process. These apps offer customisable templates and tools that help inventory clerks efficiently document property conditions, reference photos, and generate detailed reports. This technology not only enhances accuracy but also saves time, making the entire process more efficient.

Not every inventory clerk will use a reporting app, but those that do often see their reports captured quickly and in greater detail than their paper based counterparts.

Interaction with landlords, agents, and tenants

Inventory clerks have to coordinate with landlords, letting agents, and tenants to make sure that reports are accurate and timely. To this end, effective communication among these parties is essential for ensuring that the property is ready for review and that reports are scheduled.

The service business of property reports

In the context of property reports, inventory clerks offer valuable services that protects a landlords investment, a letting agents business, and a tenants rights. As a service business, in addition to the primary property reports, inventory clerks can offer various others to enhance the safety, compliance and security of a property, so too can other property professionals, like surveyors and property managers.

  • Void Property Checks: These checks ensure that unoccupied properties are maintained and secure.
  • Cleaning Reports: These assess the effectiveness of cleaning before or after tenancies.
  • Property Condition Reports: These focus on structural issues and essential features like plumbing and electrics.
  • Snagging Reports: These identify defects in new builds that need addressing before occupation.

Legal compliance reports

Legal compliance reports take the form of various assessments, and each of them helps to ensure that the property meets safety and legal standards. Examples of these include reports such as Legionella Risk Assessment, Asbestos Risk Assessment, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Gas Safety Inspection, and Electrical Safety Inspection (EICR).

Property owners are legally required to ensure their properties meet certain safety standards, and inventory clerks often have a hand in helping by conducting some, but not all, of these legal compliance reports:

  • Fitness for Human Habitation Risk Assessment: Evaluates the overall condition and safety of the property.
  • Legionella Risk Assessment: Assesses the risk of Legionella bacteria in water systems.
  • Asbestos Risk Assessment: Identifies and manages asbestos risks in older properties.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): Ensures the property meets energy efficiency standards.
  • Gas Safety Inspection: Checks the safety of gas appliances and flues.
  • Electrical Safety Inspection (EICR): Evaluates the safety of electrical installations.

Planning and preparation for a successful tenancy

Importance of early and organised bookings

Booking property reports early and organising them effectively with the right professional is crucial for a smooth tenancy process. Letting agents and landlords should coordinate with inventory clerks to schedule inspections well in advance, allowing sufficient time for thorough reports.

Communication among clerks, agents, landlords, and tenants

Effective communication ensures that all parties are aware of inspection dates and any preparatory work needed. This includes confirming bookings with tenants and ensuring the property is ready for inspection. Proper communication helps avoid delays and ensures a smooth transition between tenancies.

Managing tight schedules

During peak periods, such as student move-ins, inventory clerks often face tight schedules. Using software like Inventory Base helps manage reports efficiently, avoiding overbooking and ensuring timely report delivery to every stakeholder that needs to be included. Software can really make a difference, making the process much simpler.

Ensuring precision and accuracy throughout

Importance of detailed and accurate reports

Precision and accuracy in property reports are vital for protecting both the landlord’s assets and the tenant’s deposit. Detailed reports ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the property’s condition, reducing the likelihood of disputes.

Avoiding rushed jobs

Rushed reports can lead to inaccuracies and missed details, which can cause problems later. Proper planning and scheduling allow inventory clerks to take the time needed to produce thorough and accurate reports. With the added benefit of inventory inspection software, it’s never been easier to consistently and clearly hit all the marks.

Maintaining an audit trail

Using tools like Inventory Base helps maintain an audit trail of all activities, providing a clear record in case of disputes. This documentation is essential for resolving conflicts and ensuring transparency throughout every stage.

Benefits for tenants and landlords

Protecting tenant deposits and landlord assets

On the plus side for tenants and landlords, accurate property reports protect tenant deposits by providing clear evidence of the property's condition at the start and end of the tenancy. This documentation helps resolve disputes fairly and ensures that any deductions are justified. Interim reports can help a landlord protect their asset, so they can adjudge whether or not the property is being looked after.

Evidence for resolving disputes

Each type of property report can serve as a critical touchstone when it comes to resolving disputes between landlords and tenants. Detailed, impartial reports help establish the facts, and only the facts, making it easier to address any issues that arise.

Ensuring safety and compliance

Regular inspections and compliance checks ensure that rental properties meet safety standards and legal requirements. This protects the tenants’ well-being and helps landlords avoid fines and legal issues.


Property reports are an indispensable part of rental property management. They protect all parties involved with clear, detailed documentation of the property's condition and contents.

Taking property reports seriously from the outset can and often do help to prevent disputes, safeguard investments, and create a positive rental experience for everyone involved.

For landlords, agents, and inventory clerks looking to improve their property management processes, tools like Inventory Base can make all the difference.

On top of this, InventoryBase Academy offers comprehensive training and support for inventory clerks at every stage of their career, providing the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

Start your journey to becoming an expert inventory clerk today and ensure your rental properties are managed to the highest standards with Inventory Base Academy.