Without a decent property inventory, you could be liable for thousands of pounds in the event of a dispute – typically these are fought over cleaning, redecoration and damage.
Horror stories abound of landlords taken to the cleaners who have learned the hard way to use detailed inventories. For example, suppose tenants decide to ‘redecorate’, employing black paint and attaching disfiguring screws and nails across the walls. Without an inventory, the landlord has little chance of claiming on the tenant’s deposit.
It is vital to have an accurate and detailed property inventory and schedule of condition ready for the start of the tenancy and available again at its close. Both sides need to sign the inventory, which must be easy to digest and clear, with supporting photographs.
When drawing up an inventory you need to consider the following.
It’s a mistake to think that you will be exempt from problems if your property is not fully furnished. A good inventory covers the entire property’s condition, including its cleanliness, fixtures and fittings. The state of internally decorated walls needs noting.
Putting money and time into creating a professional and unbiased property inventory is essential. Such a document will stand up to possible disputes when the tenancy ends. By contrast, a messy handwritten scrawl will not cut it should the tenant dispute your claim.
The tenant needs to review the inventory, so it must be clear and ordered. In the event of a dispute, the selected deposit scheme arbitrator needs to be able to see clearly the condition of the property when the agreement started. Poorly arranged inventories with complicated content do not encourage tenants to sign up – nor are they likely to persuade the arbitrator of a valid claim.
Many landlords today employ a property inspection app to make life easier when creating inventories. One such app can be found at https://inventorybase.co.uk/.
More guidance for landlords can be found here: https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2019/7/it-is-good-practice-to-have-a-well-prepared-inventory-to-ensure-a-risk-free-tenancy?source=newsticker.
Photos are a must when it comes to showing the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy. Photos should be dated and of a decent size. Video evidence may also be acceptable. Both parties should sign the photographs.
These measures will protect your interests, ensuring a successful and happy tenancy.