A failsafe inventory of your rental property is essential to securing yourself from dispute over the deposit. Whether you choose to complete an inventory yourself or engage the services of a professional letting agent, you need to protect yourself, your property and your funds.

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An inventory is not just a compilation of material things such as furnishings, crockery, etc., it should be a quality document that should comprise a thorough record of the property’s condition, including descriptions and photos.

Moving in and moving out

The tenant needs to be present whilst the inventory is reviewed and recorded, allowing for discussion on any discrepancies there may be. Cleanliness, decor, records of any damaged or missing items all need to be agreed, signed and dated by landlord and tenant before they move in. If an inventory review appointment cannot be met, change the moving in date.

At the end of the tenancy, the inventory is used to compare and any changes to the property should be established, including who is responsible for them. Documentation should be signed and dated by all parties again, noting any commitments to rectifications necessary. Don’t let the tenants move out beforehand, else you have lost control of holding them responsible for anything you find later.

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Professional or do it yourself

If you choose to handover responsibility to a letting agent, you will get a quality report that accurately reflects the situation. You also get independence, should any dispute crop up. You will pay a small fee for this service, but it could save you time and money should things get messy. Explore the subject further if you need any help in this area.

Some landlords prefer to take on the responsibility themselves and this is fine. Ensure noteworthy points on cleanliness, decor, fixtures and fittings – and take photos of the insides of fridges, ovens, dishwashers, loos etc. You may find some good Property Inventory Software such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ helpful.

An inventory is a document that provides both landlord and tenant with security. It is a legally binding document and insurance against the deposit secured. Keep hold of receipts and paperwork associated with a tenancy, e.g. if you’ve undertaken a property clean before a tenant moved in, you may need to prove it.