Having an Inventory and Schedule of Condition report is almost as vital as a signed tenancy agreement.
Would you let your property without asking for a deposit? The obvious answer is no, however, by not having an inventory, you may as well not collect a deposit.
An inventory not only protects you and your property but more importantly, should there be any deductions to be made at the end of the tenancy, you have evidence to back the claim up.
Whether you compile the inventory or pay a professional to produce it, this article will help you understand what is required and keep you protected.
Creating the inventory involves detailing every aspect of the property. All rooms inspected, and its condition reported, any marks, damage or discrepancies noted as well as the general cleanliness. Photographs of all items should also be taken to show their conditions. Include any outdoor space, such as a garden, especially if the tenant is responsible for maintaining these. We recommend having the inventory produced by a professional inventory clerk as they might notice a defect that you might have missed, and it will also save you a lot of time.
Meet the tenants at the property at an agreed time on the day they are moving in. Go through the inventory and schedule of condition room by room and note any defects that might be picked up. You should then get the tenants to sign two copies to confirm that they agreed it is accurate. One copy is for them to keep and one for your records. If it isn’t possible, then you need to advise the tenants in writing to let you know of any discrepancies found within seven days of the start of the tenancy or the report is taken to be accurate.
Carrying out regular property inspections is imperative. We recommend carrying them out every three months for the first year before considering relaxing them to 6 monthly. By doing this, you can check to see if there is any damage beyond fair wear and tear amongst other things – see our post on “What is a property inspection and how often should I do them”. You can then write to the tenants advising them of your findings and what they need to put right before they vacate. If the work is not carried out, you can then deduct the costs from the deposit.
On the day your tenants are due to vacate, arrange to meet them at the property, collect their keys and carry out a check-out.
Compile a check-out report and compare it with the Inventory and Schedule of Condition report used at the beginning of the tenancy. If items are missing or extra cleaning is required, then the payment can be deducted from the deposit. Again, we recommend having the check-out report compiled by a professional inventory clerk as they will be able to advise if anything is beyond normal wear and tear and if there should be any deductions from the deposit. Where possible, get the report signed by the tenants.
Compiling an Inventory and Schedule of Condition report is one of the best ways of avoiding disagreements of the property’s condition at the end of a tenancy. The document can be used to provide evidence should you need to make a claim, but it is also useful for the tenants, so they have something to refer to towards the end of the tenancy and how they should return the property.