How is an Inventory prepared, and by whom?
The Landlord, a Letting Agent or our preferred choice of an Independent and professionally qualified Inventory clerk should organise the inventory, which should be agreed with the tenant on move-in day (the check-in part).
The Landlord / agent and tenant(s) should sign the Inventory to confirm they are in agreement with comments contained within the report. If an independent clerk has been used, there is no requirement for the tenant to sign any document.
Photographic or video evidence of the property contents and condition aren’t obligatory but are most definitely worthwhile. How in-depth you wish to be can often depend on how valuable the items in the property are. Understandably the more valuable items should be captured with imagery, so there is no question of their condition.
Look for a qualified Inventory Company here.
When should a check-out inventory be done?
In an ideal world, on the day the tenant’s moves out the landlord should organise for a final inventory check-out.
The tenant will need to review the inventory and the landlord decides whether to hand back their damages deposit, or make a claim for damages.
What happens if items have been damaged?
If there is a general agreement between the parties about what has been damaged, the landlord and tenant can negotiate over a fair sum for the damage.
If an agreement is not reached then the Landlord the landlord must start a claim with the Tenant Deposit Scheme used within 10 days of the tenancy ending.
If the amount being claimed is less than the deposit sum registered, the balance must be repaid to the tenant and the Tenant Deposit Scheme holds the sum claimed until the matter is fully resolved.
If the deposit doesn’t cover the total amount needed to carry out the repairs, an invoice itemising all charges to rectify the damage should be sent to the tenant. If no agreement is reached the landlord may need to consider litigation to recover the money.
If items need to be replaced then the landlord must be clear about the rules regarding betterment. This means that the original age and condition of the replaced item should be considered when calculating the approximate replacement cost, and you cannot replace old for new as it would be unfair.
Should I bother creating an inventory for an unfurnished property?
Even if a property is described as unfurnished, there will still be items that can be damaged which are costly to fix such as stains or damage to carpets, walls, doors or kitchen units or worktops.
Therefore it is still vitally important to have a thorough inventory carried out.
After recently carrying out a check out a tenant had repainted rooms without permission because they didn’t like the original neutral colour!
Remember, fishneedwater provide an inventory check-in report with all letting services, carried out by an AIIC qualified specialist firm and you don’t pay for this.
What happens if you don’t follow the deposit protection rules? Well, it could be a really costly mistake. Tune in to our next email to find out why…