If you are a landlord or tenant renting a property, then the property inventory document is essential, and second only to the rental agreement in terms of importance. Professional landlords & agents know this but many tenants are not and therefore don’t appreciate how an inventory can protect them as well.
With that in mind, we thought we’d shed some light on the inventories for all you tenants out there blissfully unaware how important they are!
What is an inventory report?
The inventory report is document detailing each room within a property, its contents and their condition and is often supported by photographs. Two identical inventory reports are performed during every tenancy – one before the tenant moves in, which is normally referred to as the inventory.
As a tenant, you should always request that a property inventory is provided so you can’t be accused of damage for which you’re not responsible when you move out of your property.
Another inventory, called the check out, is performed when the tenant moves out with all their belongings. The check-out report will list recommended actions if applicable, which are normally assigned as a landlord or tenant responsibility.
The two reports should clearly show how the property has changed during the tenancy. If a disagreement arises, and it leads to a dispute over hygiene or other matters, the inventory will be the most significant piece of evidence.
Avoiding deposit disputes
As a tenant, you’re only liable for damage and not fair wear & tear. So occupancy numbers, for example a large family, length of tenancy, age and condition and quality of items are key factors when determining fair wear & tear.
A good inventory report will help to determine replacement costs for any damaged items, repair work or missed cleaning that needs to be carried out. The amount of deposit returned to the tenant will be determined by using the inventory and check out reports.
5 key reasons why tenants should have an inventory report at the start of their tenancy!
- The inventory 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 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 your deposit, providing you have returned the property in the same condition, if a disagreement leads to a formal dispute