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Inventories – the ins and outs of check-ins and check-outs

As a landlord, one of the major parts of renting out a property is the process of checking in tenants at the start of their tenancy and checking them out at the end. During the check-in process, an inventory must be prepared, agreed and signed by both parties.

What is an inventory?

Put simply, an inventory is a listing of all the items and contents of a property as well as a record of the general condition of the property. This form is created before a tenant moves in so a landlord can monitor the condition of the property/items throughout the tenancy and when the tenant moves out. If any damage has been caused, the tenant would be liable to pay for this out of their initial deposit.

In other words, an inventory can help prevent issues and disagreements between tenants and landlords, so it’s something that should not be overlooked.

What should a good inventory include?

Generally speaking, a good inventory will consist of a full written report of condition (often known as a schedule of condition). This will include a comprehensive documentation of the state of your property’s interior and exterior: contents, décor, appliances, white goods, fixtures and fittings etc. Meter readings, a full list of keys, equipment serial numbers and alarm codes (if your property has them) should also be noted down.

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It’s not mandatory to take photographic or video evidence, but it is advised, especially when it comes to more valuable items such as the oven, washing machine, fridge and expensive furniture. This removes any doubt about the original condition of the items if a scenario arises where a tenant tries to claim no damage has been caused.

Who should compile it?

You can do it yourself, but beware that compiling a thorough and detailed inventory takes time and effort and needs to be both unbiased and carried out to a professional standard. An alternative option is to hire an independent inventory clerk, who will offer an impartial and specialised service. If you do decide to go down this route, ensure they are AICC vetted.

Your letting property agent can also carry out the inventory for you. At Letting Solutions we are well-versed when it comes to the preparation of inventories. When it comes to managing the tenancy, we’ll seek to look after your property as if it was our own, with our packages including everything from tenant placement to three monthly management inspections and proactive steps to limit void periods.

The three monthly inspections, in particular, are vital when it comes to managing a tenancy, giving landlords the opportunity to compare the current condition of the property with the original inventory. This helps gives landlords peace of mind that their rental property is being well looked after.

What happens at check-out?

A final inventory check should be conducted on move-out day. The inventory should be checked and agreed with the tenant before the deposit is returned. If anything has been damaged, and assuming there is agreement between both parties over what has been damaged, then calculations should be made for repairs/replacements. The tenant should be made aware in writing of the cost incurred and how much will be deducted from their deposit as a result.

For more info about the services we offer, please get in contact with us on: 0845 520 1420. Additionally, if you would like an instant valuation of your rental property, check out our online free property valuation tool.