A detailed inventory can protect a landlord from financial loss. Which makes it surprising when a landlord lets a property without taking an inventory. Yet figures suggest this happens with almost a third of all privately rented homes.
If you are in dispute with your tenant over damage to your property you need to be able to prove your claims. An inventory helps you do this. Without one you run the risk of losing any dispute with your tenant. This could result in you having to return a deposit without receiving recompense for damage.
The tenant will also be incentivised knowing the inventory has been taken. They have more reason to keep their home clean and in good condition.
Just as a landlord will demand a deposit from every tenant an inventory should also be an essential part of your property letting procedure.
There are no negatives to carrying out an inventory. Only benefits.
As a landlord, you have two options when it comes to drawing up an inventory. You either ask a professional agent to prepare it or you do it yourself. There are pros and cons to each approach.
The biggest argument against doing your own inventory is time and expense.
It isn't a quick job writing a report and making sure you include everything isn't easy. Against this of course is the fee you will save by not commissioning a professional. But this can often prove to be a false economy. If your DIY inventory isn't detailed enough or misses out vital information you will leave yourself open to losing any dispute with your tenant.
Conversely the only drawback to employing a professional agent is the fee you pay. However fees are affordable and tax deductible. And the fee will be easily recouped in the event of a dispute.
Whoever compiles the report it must be comprehensive. It should cover:
If you let a property which is furnished you need to check:
In every property, furnished or not, a thorough inspection should be carried out. Areas to look out for include:
Don’t forget the outside of the property. Check:
Everything must be noted in detail. Don’t rely on a checklist. Just ticking a box to say the windows have been checked doesn’t provide any detailed information which will be needed in the event of a dispute. Which is why we always recommend you have a professional carry out an inventory whenever you let a property.
These are absolutely essential. All written observations should be backed up by clear, date-stamped photographs.
Good quality photos will support the written evidence and provide irrefutable proof in the event of a dispute with the tenant. But don’t be tempted to just rely on photos. They work hand in glove with the written report.
When the inventory has been completed present it to the tenant so they can check it for accuracy. When they agree it is a true reflection of the property have them sign and date the inventory.
Remember an inventory will help reduce any risk of you losing out financially in any dispute with your tenant.
When you let a property our qualified and independent Inventory Clerk will draw up a fully detailed inventory for you. MakeUrMove also provide a full property management service for private landlords.