Importance of property inventory
A property inventory is a valuable report that is used by landlords to ensure that their property is left in as good conditions as it was rented out in – this report is essential for helping to prevent disputes with tenants as it aids to help communications and bring issues to the surface before they can grow. This report is a document that measures the state of a property – these should be carried out twice; the inventory (the beginning of a tenancy), and the checkout (the end).
The first inventory:
The first inventory is commonly considered the more important of the two – it should be used to detail every aspect of the property and the conditions of them, such as the floors: is it carpet or wooden, and are there stains? The schedule of condition offers protection against structural damage that can occur within a tenancy, this protects against more than just the conditions of furniture – making this crucial to any landlord regardless of if the property will be let furnished or not. A recommendable tip would be to use photographic evidence in these reports to make them indisputable.
The first inventory will later be used at the end of the tenancy to compare it with the checkout inventory to inspect for any damages that the tenant has caused that they are liable for, making sure you stay protected as a landlord. The checkout report will evaluate any areas of tension that need highlighting making sure that the property isn’t neglected and is in prime conditions. These highlighted areas will then be categorised into ‘landlord’ or ‘tenant’ to determine who’s responsible.
How inventories will strengthen your relationship with your tenant
With clearer understandings of where you as the landlord, and the tenant, stand; you’ll both be able to communicate more efficiently to prevent a situation from worsening – this will keep a tenancy simple and straightforward. It’s even advised that you should arrange a meeting where you both detail your responsibilities to make this transition as easy as it can be.
Who conducts the inventory?
As the landlord, it is advised to use an independent inventory clerk that’ll conduct the inventories. Both you and the tenant will be required to sign the document to legally confirm agreements, your signature will be legally binding, so it goes without saying that this should be read and analysed thoroughly.
It should be noted that the TDP (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) will always favour inventories conducted by professionals over the landlord, so taking the report yourself could lead to future disputes.
Why both you, and your tenant need a property inventory:
It will give you both clarity and confidence regarding the expectations that are held of you, and you’ll both have joint agreement over the state of the property, lessening the chance of a dispute if the property is damaged. The first inventory will bring attention to what specific areas need addressing and who is responsible for them, and to what extent. Providing the tenants with your expectations will provide them with a guideline of how the property should be returned to you. Inventories are especially helpful when it comes to protecting your investment, as well as the tenants deposit. With the use of the inventories, it allows for any disputes that might arise to reach a result easily, without building tension between the professional relationship.