A property inventory ensures the landlord doesn’t have to pay for the damages or loss made to their property during their tenants’ residency.
Floors can be scuffed, carpets stained and furniture may be missing. Actually, a number of unexpected damages could take place, including vandalising a kitchen or a bathroom!
When it is time to return a tenant’s deposit, it is not as simple as taking out the cost of damages from the deposit. Eventually, a landlord needs to be able to prove both a court and a tenant that the property suffered damage or loss.
A property inventory also protects the tenant from having to pay for damages that were already in place before they took up their residency.
The system ensures that landlords do not charge the unnecessary cost to tenants when actually the damage takes place by a former tenant. Sufficient damage refers to damage that a tenant caused unfairly. It is opposed to the Fair Wear and Tear.
This is a delicate area because wear and tear can be a subjective matter.
A landlord should at the very least use a property inventory template. In fact, a property inventory can save them a lot of unnecessary, and often unfair, expenses.
However, an experienced inventory clerk can compose a detailed property inventory. This professional works independently to the property manager or the landlord and defines the appropriate standards of wear and tear.
Every landlord in the UK, who secured a tenancy after April 2007 are subjected to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Under the scheme, landlords have to place their tenant’s deposit into either a Custodial or Insurance scheme run by an independent provider. Therefore, when there is a dispute regarding the return of the deposit with regards to damage to property.
Then, you need to produce a detailed property inventory form to prove exactly what damage did your tenant cause. It will take into consideration the condition of the premises prior to their arrival.
A property inventory is a legally binding document. It provides an accurate and detailed review of the conditions and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy. If you are working with a property management company, this is their responsibility to arrange an inventory clerk.
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In a property inventory, it’s not enough to list an array of items that belong to the property. Likewise, it’s not sufficient to simply say where a scratch or crack lies.
The property inventory is part of the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenant. As such, you need to carefully note all defects in the property inventory. Consequently, you will ensure that the landlord can prove a tenant caused harm to the property. This subsequently led to refurbishment, repair and/or cleaning costs.
A detailed account of a property will include:
- the condition of fixtures, fittings and decorations, including walls, carpets and equipment.
- It will also feature a full list of furniture and accessories,
- as well as an overview of the garden and outdoor vicinities.
It is less likely that the property inventory needs to cover areas like lofts and cellars unless expressly requested.
In fact, it gives landlords a level of security when claiming a fee from a tenant’s deposit.
It also ensures tenants are not held responsible for loss or damage they did not cause, which helps promote a healthy relationship between them and the landlord. Click to find out our tips on keeping your tenants longer.
A detailed property inventory will help speed up negotiations regarding deposits and makes the process easier.
A property inventory will ensure that tenants realise that the landlord values their property. This should go towards encouraging them to take greater care of their accommodation.
If you have any questions regarding property inventories, please contact Pelin Martin on