A property inventory must be completed before keys are handed to new tenants. Professional landlords and tenants alike need to be aware of the importance this document plays in establishing a tenancy.
It is the only way that a landlord can legally invoice for any damages or losses incurred during a tenure, and it is the only way that a tenant can prove they were not responsible.
We explain what an inventory is and how to make it more thorough.
What is a property inventory?
A property inventory is a document that details the condition of the property and its contents. It includes everything from the age of your washing machine to the condition of your paintwork. This comprehensive report is designed to protect properties and prevent deposit disputes.
The assessments are done twice: one at the start of the tenancy, and another at the check-out. It is helpful to have one completed and signed by both the landlord and tenant. The likelihood of a dispute over a stained or cracked carpet or sink is much higher if there isn’t one or it is not signed by both tenants and landlords.
Why is it important to have property inventories?
It is important to have a complete and objective inventory for many reasons.
Both landlord and tenant can get a clear picture of the property’s current condition by conducting a check in inventory
A check-out inventory is required at the end of each tenancy. Both reports can easily be compared.
Any discrepancies can help determine the amount of deposit to be returned. This reduces the likelihood of a deposit dispute
A fair and accurate inventory can be used to support a deposit dispute that is based on this assessment. This expedites the resolution process.
An inventory can help you identify the areas that require attention and who is responsible.
These details will allow tenants to understand how the property should look and what condition it should be returned.
Inventories protect both the landlord’s investment as well as the deposit of the tenant.
The inventory can be used by all parties to distinguish between damage or expected wear and tear.
Trust between landlord and tenant is built by following the right guidelines and communicating at all stages of the process
What information should be included in an inventory of property?
It is a good idea to keep inventories for all rental properties regardless of whether they are furnished or unfurnished.
Both should list and describe the conditions of the following rooms room-by-room.
Furniture, curtains, carpets, vinyl, wooden and laminate flooring, as well as appliances, are all included.
Fixtures and fittings include doors, handles, locks and banisters as well as bathroom suites, kitchen cabinets, taps, and sinks
Interior decor includes paintwork on walls, ceilings and window frames and sills. Skirting boards, staircases, and door frames are all examples of interior decoration.
Avoid areas that are prone to dampness and what you can do to minimize it
Expected standard of cleanliness
Items like alarm and intercom systems and smoke alarms, CO2 detectors and fire extinguishers
Gas appliances include ovens, stoves, boilers, and radiators.
Exterior items like fencing, paintwork and satellite dishes, plants, trees, lawns, sheds, garages, and aerials, as well as exterior items such a fence, paintwork and aerials, and satellite dishes, and plants and trees.
It is highly recommended to include photographs, preferably digital ones, where the date of their capture can be verified. These photos can be used to support a claim for end-of-tenancy.
You can also include proof of mandatory gas safety checks and confirmation of the Energy Performance Certificate in your inventory.
An inventory should include a declaration page at its end to allow signatures from all parties.
How to effectively use a property inventory
It is a good idea for landlords to make an inventory before the tenant moves into their property. It is more likely that accidental damage will occur during check-in and check-out when personal belongings are being moved in. Therefore, it is important to have an accurate record of the property’s condition prior to moving in.
Tenants should check in using the inventory. They should cross-reference every point and notate any differences. This will ensure that any undocumented damage to or defects they find won’t be their responsibility on check-out. This is also an opportunity for the landlord to join them in ensuring that nothing has been missed.
Once both parties have verified that the inventory has been accurate and complete, they can sign it and hand the keys to the tenant. Do not underestimate the importance and necessity of adding dated signatures. Many deposit claims are denied because the inventory was not signed.
Regular inspections by landlords are necessary throughout the tenure to check for damage not listed in the inventory report. In case of a need for evidence, landlords should document any issues and inform the tenant.
With four weeks before the end of tenancy, landlords should remind tenants about their responsibilities and allow them to resolve any problems.
Both parties must be present at check-out when the inventory and current condition are compared. You should also prepare a second report detailing the areas that require attention. This report should be divided into sections so you can clearly see who is responsible for each section.
You should pay attention to cleanliness, damage, missing objects, gardens, keys, and meter readings. New photographs can be taken to compare them with the ones from the beginning of the tenancy. These photos should be embedded in the report.
If you rent in England or Wales, it is important to know that landlords don’t have to give written tenancy agreements. Both the landlord and tenant are still at risk if a tenancy agreement is not in writing.
Basics of a Tenancy Agreement
Tenancy agreements are binding contracts between landlords and tenants that define rights and expectations for each party. Although verbal agreements can accomplish the same thing but aren’t legally binding, they can be enforced in court in cases of conflict. Online letting agents make it easy to find a template for a customized tenancy agreement. This will be legally valid in court.
Online information about tenancy agreements is available. If you need advice, a solicitor can be consulted. Most agreements cover the following in general:
Name of the landlord
Name of the tenant
The address of the property being let
The date of tenancy begins
The anticipated length of the tenancy
If the tenancy is to be ended, the landlord and tenant must give notice.
A list of the services that will be provided by the landlord
How often rent must be paid
How to pay rent
Rent includes utilities and council tax.
Who can live on the property?
A forfeiture clause allows the landlord to reclaim the property if the tenant is not at fault
If pets are allowed, what types of pets are allowed? What rules apply to pets?
Other special arrangements (e.g. Use of certain amenities, parking lots, etc.
Tenants’ rights, responsibilities
Under UK law, tenants have certain rights, as do landlords. Each party has responsibilities. These responsibilities are outlined by the Government in the Private Renting section. They may also be repeated in written tenancy agreements. Here is a quick overview:
Safe place to live in good condition.
Find out who their landlord is
You can live in peace and quiet.
Protection against unfair rent/unfair eviction
Refuse to pay excessively high fees
When a fixed term tenancy will last longer than three years, have a written agreement
Tenants must receive a copy the Government’s How to Rent Guide when they move into a rental property. They must also be issued with a gas safety certificate. Landlords are required to provide energy performance certificates to tenants in many cases.
It is important that the tenant understands his responsibilities in the tenancy agreement. This eliminates all questions about who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the rental. The Government’s Private Renting Guide states that tenants must:
If an emergency occurs, give the landlord access to your property.
Take care of your property
Even if there is a dispute between landlord and tenant, you must still pay the rent.
Any other fees agreed to, e.g. Pay any other charges, i.e. utility bills or council tax
Renter, family members or friends of the renter must pay for or remediate damage.
Only sublet the property if the landlord is willing
A written tenancy agreement is of great value
A written tenancy contract does not alter the rights or responsibilities of the landlord and tenant, but there are important reasons for a tenancy arrangement.
Tenancy agreements: How landlords and tenants benefit
It is a good idea to have a written agreement for tenancy. Landlords must provide tenants with a summary of key terms within six months of the date that the tenancy began. Landlords can save time and ensure tenants are fully informed about the rental agreement.
Legally binding are written agreements signed by the landlord and tenant. These agreements cannot be challenged after the fact. This protects both sides.
In the event of problems tenants, landlords must provide written tenancy agreements for the court.
By presenting their written tenancy agreement, tenants must frequently prove their residence to banks and benefits offices.
Written agreements are a permanent record of the agreement between the landlords and tenants.
It is important to remember that the law gives landlord and tenant rights over written tenancy agreements. No matter if you’re drafting a tenancy contract for a tenant or are the recipient of one, it must not imply that either party has less rights than those set out by statute.
You can use Government guidance to create tenancy agreements or you can find tenancy agreement template for England and Wales online. A solicitor can review tenancy agreements before you present them to tenants. Tenancy agreements can be drafted by solicitors, or letting agents. No matter how you approach it, one thing remains constant: Written tenancy agreements, regardless of whether they are required by law, are vital.
Once the inventories have been completed, it should be possible to identify any deductions from the deposit.
People who want to look younger and healthier have found that chemical face peels are a popular and effective way...