Letting property can be a difficult business, for both tenants and landlords alike. A ripped carpet, broken window or marked wall can cost a renter a hefty penalty from their deposit, and a landlord feels that money must be spent before they can rent the property out again. So what is the solution?

Hiring a professional and independent inventory service or clerk, for both check in and check out, protects both the landlord’s property and the tenant’s deposit, which saves money and time and prevents disputes.

An inventory clerk is a professional who makes detailed notes regarding the contents and condition of a property before it is let to a tenant. A clerk can also conduct mid-tenancy inspections on a property, and returns when the tenancy comes to an end in order to compare the end of tenancy condition to the original condition of the property. The return of a tenant’s complete deposit is normally dependent on the condition of the property when the tenant leaves, excluding normal wear and tear.

is a professional who makes detailed notes regarding the contents and condition of a property before it is let to a tenant. A clerk can also conduct mid-tenancy inspections on a property, and returns when the tenancy comes to an end in order to compare the end of tenancy condition to the original condition of the property. The return of a tenant’s complete deposit is normally dependent on the condition of the property when the tenant leaves, excluding normal wear and tear.

A landlord normally asks for a deposit to be paid by new tenants, normally the equivalent of six week’s rent, which is held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme until the renter leaves the property.

An inventory, which can be completed using property inventory software, is a thorough, legal document that is in the best interests of both the landlord and the tenant. This ensures that there are less issues when a tenant leaves the property, as all aspects of the property are noted in an efficient and detailed manner in the first instance. An inventory report should also be agreed and signed by both the tenant and landlord on the day that the tenant actually moves into the home.

If an inventory is conducted after a tenant has moved into the property, there could be discrepancies in the inventory in both belongings and condition.

The inventory report will list everything that is included within the property. This will include heating appliances, extractor fans, cupboards, plug sockets, door frames, smoke detectors, curtains or blinds, flooring, light fittings, walls, ceiling and doors.

In addition to these fittings and fixtures, any furniture which belongs to the landlord must be included, as well as descriptions of their condition. It is vital that any damage, chips or marks are included in these descriptions, to ensure that the tenant is not responsible for any existing damage, and that the landlord receives fair compensation for any damage inflicted by the tenant.

Some inventory reports will also include utility readings such as electricity, water and gas readings. Some inventory clerks also photograph the property for their reports.

Letting agents and landlords both utilise the services of inventory clerks. If you are an investor landlord and let property to tenants, an inventory report should always be completed before a tenant moves in.

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) is an expert and professional body which also ensures its members follow a defined code of practice. Inventory clerks can be found using this authority, and you can rest assured that the clerk you hire has a certain level of skilled professionalism.

For landlords, hiring an inventory clerk saves you both time and future issues. A professional service ensures that everything is contained within an inventory, and you gain peace of mind. Using an inventory clerk also ensures that disputes at the end of a tenancy are resolved fairly and do not become personal. Wear and tear and its definition, for example, is a frequent sticking point for tenants and landlords, as any damage due to normal wear and tear cannot be fairly passed to the tenant.

As an inventory clerk is independent and unbiased, they will consider all factors including the condition and quality of the item at the start of the tenancy, as well as at the expiration of the tenancy.

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