Property inventories are required by law and are a vital part for the UK rental process. They are carried out in the best interests for both the landlord and the tenant, so shouldn’t be ignored or avoided.
Legally, any deposit given by a tenant to a landlord has to be protected in a government deposit protection scheme. Property inventories are reports detailing the state of a property at the beginning of a tenancy and can be used to avoid disputes over a tenancy deposit.
Any damage done to the property during the course of the tenancy can be claimed for by using the inventory as evidence. The deposit can be used as compensation and the entire process can run smoothly to avoid any further issues.
How to Create a Property Inventory
Creating an inventory is much more than listing the contents of the property and stating the décor. An inventory management report contains a lot more detail and is constantly added to over the tenancy.
So, we have compiled a step-by-step guide to make sure you cover everything if you are carrying it out yourself.
1. The Tenancy Agreement & Date of Inventory
First thing’s first, you have to make sure that your tenancy agreement refers to the inventory. It needs to be robust enough to stand up in court if necessary, so needs to detail and outline:
- All the areas the tenant is responsible, e.g. loft, garage, outbuildings, etc.
- The definitions of the types of clean and condition you will be referring to
- The legal requirements of the tenant
The property inventory should be conducted before your tenant/s move their belongings in, so ideally shortly before or on the move-in date, with the tenant present.
2. Check-In Inventory & Schedule of Condition
Next, the carrying out of the inventory and schedule of condition. No matter if the property is furnished or unfurnished, there will be items that can be damaged. An inventory list would commonly include:
- Windows & Doors
- Kitchen Units & Appliances
- Walls, Fixtures & Fittings
- Paint colours
- Floor coverings
- Gardens & Sheds
- If furnished, all furniture and furnished items, etc.
With each item, you should state a clear and detailed reference of the item including the size, location, brand name and model number. The condition should document the appearance / functionality in a grading style, from “excellent” to “poor”, with any additional description necessary and photographic or video evidence.
3. Signing of the Check-In Inventory
Once completed, the inventory should be signed off by both the landlord and the tenant, with each receiving their own copy for reference. These signatures are essential and present the agreement of the inventory by the tenant.
4. Periodic Visits During Tenancy
It is recommended that the property inventory should be cross-checked with periodic visits on roughly a quarterly basis, every 3 months. Regular inspections allow landlords to keep up to date with the inventory and for any obvious signs of damage to be flagged and discussed with tenants. Remember to give the tenant 24 hours’ notice in writing before the visit.
5. The Check-Out Inventory & Dilapidation Reports
On the day your tenant is set to move out, you should complete a final inspection and a comprehensive check-out report. This review should be undertaken with the tenant present and after their possessions have been vacated.
This is carried out in order to assess the condition of the property in correspondence to the property inventory. The items that need to be checked and recorded, in addition to the inventory, are:
- Evidence of a check-in and check-out process plus the complete audit trail
- Records of receipts, invoices, estimates, quotes and cleaning charges
- Records of all communication
All reports should be provided in text format along with photos and/or video footage as supporting evidence. Any areas that need amending or clarification can also be carried out too.
Finally, the dilapidation report will determine change, missing items, cleanliness, damage, maintenance or general wear and tear.
Inventory Services from Pinpoint Homes
If you would prefer a trusted property maintenance company to undertake your inventory for you, please don’t hesitate to contact Pinpoint Homes.