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The Importance of Inventories

Tuesday, 13th April 2010

Categories: Lettings Property Management

Author: Peter Barry

Some Landlords question the necessity of having a comprehensive inventory and schedule of condition of their property carried out before a tenant moves in, but if you think about it would you expect a car rental company to rent you a car without first making a thorough check of the condition of the paint work, upholstery etc. how would they know what if any new damage had been caused on its return. If they didn’t carry out the checks and get you as the renter to sign for it, who could be held responsible? 

It is important that you protect your property, your major investment, against negligence and damage caused by tenants. Without an inventory and schedule of condition you will be unable to make a successful claim for compensation or reinstatement of damage through any of the recognised deposit protection schemes. 

A professional check in with the tenant present ensures that both parties agree the true condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. This ensures that the tenants cannot avoid their responsibility for the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy and reinforces to the tenants their liability should they fail to live in the property in a responsible and tenant like manner.

 It is equally as important to have a formal check out at the end of the tenancy; failure to do this will undo all the good work at the beginning.  It is imperative that the check out reflects the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy.  The Check In and Check Out reports are the documents that any arbitrator or court will rely upon to assess the validity of any claim you as landlord are making against the tenant, failure to produce either of these reports together with the inventory will result in a failed application for compensation, which could leave you as the landlord seriously out of pocket. 

With the help of a well prepared inventory you can be sure that a true reflection of the condition of your property, fixtures and fittings is prepared, thus minimising the chances of a dispute at the end of the tenancy and thereby strengthening your ability to make a successful claim against the tenant should you need to.