Moving into a new property is an exciting time. However, it can often come with its own stress and issues.
An inventory report is usually issued to the tenant by the managing agent, and it’s where the condition and any damage to the property is thoroughly noted and documented. Inventory reports are imperative for privately rented properties, as they protect both the tenant and the landlord.
is usually issued to the tenant by the managing agent, and it’s where the condition and any damage to the property is thoroughly noted and documented. Inventory reports are imperative for privately rented properties, as they protect both the tenant and the landlord.
Generally, an inventory is a list of all the contents within the property, a record of each item’s condition and the overall condition of the property itself. The form is intended to help monitor the property’s condition, as well as any white goods, fittings, fixtures and furniture before the tenant moves in, and again before the tenant leaves. This clarifies what damages must be paid for or rectified.
An independent inventory clerk, letting agent or landlord will prepare the inventory, which should be signed by and agreed with the tenant the day that they move into the property. Many tenants make the mistake of being too worried to raise concerns or make amendments to inventories, as they want to avoid being perceived as a troublemaker.
However, it is normal for tenants to discover a few errors in the inventory report, and they have the right to highlight these to their agent. Agents and landlords expect tenants to check the inventory report and to provide feedback if there are any mistakes or omissions.
It is important for tenants to make a note of any damage which has not been listed within the inventory, such as stained carpets, loose coat racks or broken chairs.
For example, if you find holes within the laminate of a kitchen worktop, which has been labelled incorrectly as stains by the inventory clerk, then it is essential that this issue is flagged. This ensures that the tenant is not responsible for damage which has been inflicted on the property by a previous tenant.
As an example, rusty hobs can often be described as in an adequate condition, alongside kitchen appliances which are covered in grease. Drawers can frequently be found missing from the inside of fridge freezers, and can be easily left off the inventory.
An independent inventory clerk is an unbiased individual who will document and conduct the inventory, saving the landlord money, problems and time as they ensure all items are accounted for thoroughly at the start and end of a tenancy.
Video or photographic evidence of the condition and contents of the property is optional, but serves as a wise safety net in disputes. Valuable items such as the washing machine and cooker should always be captured with images, so there can be no question of their condition.
Inventory property management software can create a simple and straightforward method for clerks to conduct reports. This eliminates mistakes for landlords and tenants alike, and reduces any anxiety tenants may feel in reporting issues.
It is important that landlords, tenants and inventory clerks are thorough and united in their understanding of the inventory, and that all pre-existing damage is clearly noted. This ensures that the tenant will not lose all or some of their deposit, should they be accused of causing damage that was already there.