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What is an Inventory, and do I need one?

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An inventory is a comprehensive report which lists and records the condition of every room in a property and its contents in detailed description. It includes photographs of areas of significance to evidence what has been described and meter readings are also recorded.

An inventory is a legal document and should be thorough, it protects the tenant’s deposit and the landlord’s property. The document can be used to resolve any disputes arising over deposits, as it is the most important record of factual evidence collected in a fair and impartial way.

The inventory should be agreed by both the landlord and the tenant when the tenant moves into the property. As we act as an unbiased third party, this report protects not only the property of the owner, but also makes sure that the tenant is not unfairly charged for any damage or wear that occurs during their tenancy.

Inventory reports can be organised by the agent, landlord or tenant.

Inventory reports are carried out by experienced Inventory clerks. There are several types of service that an inventory clerk can offer which are:

Inventory make

An inventory report is a complete record of the property, broken down by individual room, listing the contents, furniture and fixtures in a methodical manner. This should be carried out before the tenancy begins. It will include photographs of specific areas which have been described in the report and meter readings (Gas, Electric, water) at the time of the visit will be logged.

This original report will be used as reference to compare the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.

Inventory check in

The inventory and check in are carried out simultaneously and just before the tenant arrives to be checked in. The inventory clerk will arrive beforehand to carry out the inventory report. When the tenant arrives, the clerk will walk the tenant through the property giving the tenant an opportunity to agree to the contents of the inventory, make any amendments and discuss any issues before signing the document. A check-in is the handover of the property to the tenants at the beginning of the tenancy, which involves a review of the inventory on site with the tenants.

At check-in, the inventory should detail the current state of the property, including descriptions, age and condition of the fixtures, fittings and furnishing. This helps landlords and letting agents compare the state of the property at check-in and at check-out.

Inventory check out

A check-out is the handover of the property from the tenants at the end of a tenancy. Upon completion of a tenancy, the inventory clerk will compare the condition of the property against the original inventory and check-in reports. All discrepancies between the reports are noted down, as well as meter readings taken, and the keys collected and returned back to the landlord/agent.

Once the above has been completed, the inventory clerk will then form a report on the findings of the final visit and then a document is prepared to record all dilapidations within the report it will state whether each item within the property is either ‘for urgent attention’, ‘fair wear and tear’, ‘the responsibility of the tenant’ or ‘for landlord/agents’ attention’.

The check out report is there to ultimately decide how the deposit should be distributed at the end of the tenancy in an unbiased and objective manner.

If you don’t have an ingoing inventory (created at the start of the tenancy), a good check out report will still be evidence of the condition the property was left in and also if the tenant broke any clauses in the tenancy agreement. Although without an ingoing inventory it will be harder to prove evidence for deposit deductions, a check out report without an ingoing inventory is still better than no check out done at all.

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