What is an Inventory?
An Inventory is basically a detailed report advising the full contents of a rental property. It may sometimes be called a ‘schedule of condition’.
The document is descriptive and should have photographs accompanying it. It should show the condition of the property and the items which come with it before a tenant moves in. The document is then used as a point of reference when a tenant moves out, to ensure that both landlord and tenant are covered for any damages that may have/have not occurred during the tenancy period.
It is important to remember that an inventory protects all parties and should be insisted upon by both landlords and tenants.
The Inventory Process
The inventory should be the last process completed before the tenant moves in. It can also be completed on moving day with the tenant present although it can be a long process.
None of the tenants belongings should be present and no other third party should enter the property once the inventory has been completed. This includes decorators, agents or cleaners.
An inventory will list faults but should also contain notes on the condition of fixtures and fittings as well as their colours, style, brand names (where applicable). This is to ensure that fittings cannot be swapped out for alternative versions.
Photographs should accompany all notes.
Once the inventory is completed it should be signed off by both parties and each should take a copy for reference.
It is recommended that interim surveys are made on the property. A quarterly inspection which compares the current condition of the property with the inventory is advisable.
Any obvious signs of damage will be marked off to be discussed with the tenant.
A final inspection against the inventory should be made when the tenant moves out, to assess the condition of the property against that of the inventory.
The tenant should be present but all of their possessions should have been moved out. This is to ensure that possible damage caused by furniture moving can be assessed.
If you require information on MEES, please click on the link.
For the National Landlord’s Association’s take on the importance of an assessment, click here.