The Importance Of Property Inventories Explained

With ever increasing, restrictive legislation and the litigious times that we live in, the reliance on evidence to protect a landlord’s property is greater than ever before. A professionally drawn-up inventory will protect you from any unwarranted disputes by the tenant at the end of the tenancy. If there is an insufficient, outdated or, even worse, no inventory then you will have no evidence of what the property was like at the start of the tenancy. This means that if you or the agent are unable to provide sufficient evidence of the damage a tenant has caused, your position to make a claim against their deposit will be compromised.

An inventory is not just a list of items placed in or on the premises. A proper inventory will include a schedule of condition of the property as well as the fixtures, fittings and any contents. A professionally qualified inventory provider is also likely to be deemed to be impartial and will record an unbiased account of the condition of a property found at both the start and end of the tenancy.

Compiling an inventory requires skill and should be carried out by someone experienced and competent in doing so and affiliated to a recognised governing body. By choosing to utilise the skills of an APIP member inventory provider, such as the Isle of Wight based QWERTY INVENTORIES, a landlord will be afforded the confidence that the description of the property and its condition at both the start and end of the tenancy was made by someone who has undergone training and assessment and who understands the importance of unbiased and detailed notations.

At the end of the tenancy, you will need to complete a comprehensive ‘check-out’ inspection which reconciles the condition, fixtures, fittings and any contents of the property at that time against the agreed inventory and schedule of condition. The checkout inspection report in conjunction with the agreed inventory and schedule of condition will allow the landlord or their agent to submit evidence to support their claim against a tenant’s deposit in the event that the tenant has caused damage to the property that exceeds the allowance for fair wear and tear.

Whilst there is no legal obligation for a landlord to protect their interest in their property with an inventory and schedule of condition, we always urge landlords to consider the likely losses incurred in the event of insufficient evidence compared to the relatively low cost of an inventory.

Matthew White, Managing Director HRD Lettings

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