Almost all landlords will be aware of the importance of a property inventory, but tenants may not always appreciate the protection that a property inventory can offer them. Property inventories can prevent a tenant from being wrongly accused of causing damage to the property or its contents.
For landlords and tenants to benefit from the protection a property inventory provides, the inventory should be carried out by an independent party, such as a professional from the letting agency, so complaints or queries from either the tenant or the landlord can be resolved independently.
Property inventories consist of documents detailing every room in the property, together with its contents and condition. Sometimes photographs are included to support the information. A report is prepared at the beginning of the tenancy and another, known as the checkout, is carried out when the tenant has moved out. This can show any changes that have occurred during the tenancy and whether these are due to fair wear and tear or are the result of damage for which the tenant would be liable.
Property inventory software has made it much easier to produce a detailed inventory of the property and its contents. The inventory is an important piece of evidence if there is any dispute between landlord and tenant, so it is important for both parties to read it carefully and highlight any inaccuracies or omissions. The condition of the property and the contents should be documented.
The government website offers detailed advice about private renting.
How a property inventory protects both tenants and landlords
Landlords can access property inventory software online from companies such as https://inventorybase.co.uk. The inventory will detail the condition the property is in at the beginning of the tenancy and this should be agreed by the tenant. It will also help with determining who is responsible for maintenance jobs that arise during the tenancy.
The inventory will also act as a guide to tenants as to how the property should be left at the end of their tenancy. It can also serve as a guide to what can be considered fair wear and tear. In the event of a dispute, it will ensure that the deposit is returned to the tenant if the property is returned in the same condition at the end of the tenancy.