Most frequent questions and answers
A property inventory report is compiled from an inspection of the property resulting in a report normally performed by a trained and accredited inventory clerk. The report contains descriptions and conditions of all items in the property (fixed and movable) sometimes referred to as fixtures and fittings. The state of these are always noted as seen at the time of the appointment.
Property inventory reports are typically used as an accompanying document to short hold tenancy agreements. A property inventory report serves as a benchmark for all parties going into the tenancy agreement. It can be seen as a reference document to be used come the end of the tenancy agreement.
The lettings market has seen a relatively recent rise in the number of property inventory reports produced and related services. This can be attributed to the introduction of multiple government backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes. The schemes will provide a third party adjudicator should a disagreement arise.
All meter readings, keys, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are detailed where possible and all descriptions are usually accompanied with dated photographs. Inspections usually include the garden and any outbuildings which will be also captured in the report. This detailed document enables accurate assessments to be made about damage and cleaning issues liable to the tenant or landlord.
If you are a landlord or a tenant renting a property, then the property inventory document is essential, and second only to the rental agreement in terms of importance. Most professional landlords and agents are aware of this, but many tenants have a more passive attitude towards the inventory, as they do not always appreciate how the document can protect them too.
Essentially a tenant should always request that a property inventory is provided so they cannot be accused of damage for which they are not responsible, at some point in the future.
Inventory management will help to encourage a healthy business arrangement between landlord and tenant at the outset of a new tenancy. It should always be carried out by an inventory professional, or from the letting agency arranging the tenancy. This this will allow for queries and complaints to be dealt with independently for both parties concerned.
A midterm inspection is conducted 3 months after tenancy commencement and thereafter at 3/6 monthly intervals. Mid-term inspection reports are supported by photographs of each room and details the general condition, any maintenance issues and ensures the property is being well-kept and maintained by the existing tenants, taking into account that there is no sub-letting taking place, smoking, using the property for commercial use or illegal activity, unauthorised pets and any other breach of tenancy taking place.
A check-in report is very similar to the main inventory report, however finer details of items included in the tenancy such as, appliances, furniture and current condition is agreed upon and confirmed whilst the tenant is present obtaining their signature as acceptance as seen which is invaluable as it is compared to the final check out inspection report at the end of tenancy and any potential dispute can be avoided with such a document.
Meter reading data will also be obtained for utility suppliers at the start of the tenancy and the end of tenancy appropriating any associated liability of usage to the tenant, again avoiding any potential disputes.
- The inventory / check-in/out report will set out the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, which is agreed by the tenant.
- It will assist with the ownership of maintenance jobs during the tenancy. (For example if a faulty oven door was noted during the check in which subsequently breaks, then it is the responsibility of the landlord to repair it.)
- The inventory / check-in/out report acts as a comprehensive guide on how to return the property at the end of the tenancy
- It reduces the potential for disagreements on who is responsible for repairs and damage at the end of the tenancy, and will aid in determining fair wear and tear.
- It will safeguard the tenants deposit, providing they have returned the property in the same condition as received, if a disagreement leads to a formal dispute
- Protects the landlords property and contents and also their position should any deductions be presented against the tenants deposit which will be fairly appropriated.