A property inventory is a factual report that details the contents of a property at the beginning of a tenancy. It includes a list of all fixtures, fittings and furniture in the property, and records the state of each item in every room, which is known as a ‘schedule of condition’. This means that any chips, defects, scratches or stains are made note of at the time of the report. A proper inventory should contain both detailed descriptions and photographs and can easily run to 40 or 50 pages. Any amends to the inventory will need to be approved and signed by the landlord and tenant.
A property inventory is carried out just before the new tenant moves in, forming an important part of the tenancy agreement. Then, when the tenancy ends, a checkout inspection takes place. This compares the current condition of the property with the agreed inventory records.
Should there be any disputes at this point, the landlord and/or tenant will need to have evidence to benchmark their complaints against. In the case of a landlord wanting to take money from the tenant’s security deposit for damages against their property, they can then refer to the property inventory to prove that the impairments are more than reasonable wear and tear.
The check out inspection is performed when the tenant moves out with all their belongings. The check-out report will list recommended actions if applicable, which are normally assigned as a landlord or tenant responsibility. These reports are imperative to both landlords and tenants because they legally benchmark the quality of the property, and assist to ensure agreement is made quickly at the end of the tenancy.
A good professional check-out report will help immensely in determining replacement costs, as it will detail the original quality and condition for items being claimed. For example, if a glass is chipped or missing, it has to be determined whether it was from a set of crystal glasses or a non-matching glass from a discount store. The amount of deposit returned to the tenant will be determined by using the inventory and check out reports.
It is not a legal requirement for reports to be signed but it is highly recommended to avoid any issues should there be a dispute. We can share the report directly with required parties and monitor signature returns. Parties that are signing will get an automated email reminding them to sign if they have not after 3 days of receiving the report. We record when reports have been sent, who they have been sent to and can see when the link to the report has been opened. We also have a disclaimer stating the process.
No. We regularly conduct both inspection types in the tenant’s absence. Reports are sent to the booker within 24 hours (and landlord/tenant if required) and all parties have 7 days to add any additional comments or photos they feel necessary. Tenant signatures are not acquired on the day but can be requested upon completion of the report.
An inventory report is hands-down one of the most important documents you need when letting a property. Not only does it provide you and your tenant with an accurate assessment of the current state of the property, it ensures your property is left in the same condition at the end avoiding costly deposit disputes.
As tempting as saving money by doing your own inventory report is, be aware that reports are evidence based and an adjudicator will not see this as independent or even a fair representation of the damages.
Having a professional third party property inventory provider conduct your report will stand up in a court providing you with the unbiased evidence you need.
Don’t take chances with your investment – make sure you are properly covered. Money spent now will save you money in the future.