Every landlord knows the importance of a thorough inventory. But it often takes a bad experience to really hammer home precisely how it should be conducted to give you as much security as possible. Rentify does not want you to have to go through that bad experience! It is especially important that you have clear evidence of the condition of the property (signed by both parties) now that a tenancy deposit scheme is required by law. If there is a dispute over damages and how much deposit is to be paid back, a dispute resolution service will place the burden of proof on the landlord. So if you cannot prove the damage was caused under the stewardship of the tenant, you will not be able to claim money from the deposit. Here are a few tips which are sometimes overlooked:
1.) As well as having a thorough check-list detailing the precise condition of all the contents, take good quality photographs of the property. Make sure the date of the photos can be verified (get the tenant to sign and date them). This should provide extra cover for things that would be expensive to repair such as walls, doors and windows. Also, if something is slightly damaged but the tenant makes it considerably worse, photos will give a precise indication of this.
2.) Make sure that you go through the inventory with the tenant and have it signed by them before they move in. It may be tempting to give a little leeway if they seem pleasant and professional but it is not worth the risk!
3.) Do not do the final ‘check out’ inventory until the tenant has moved all of their possessions out of the property. This will reduce the risk of signing the all clear only to have that last wardrobe put a hole in the wall.
4.) You can always leave it to Rentify: our inventories are as thorough as they come!
For a comprehensive, free guide on inventories, check out this booklet from my|deposits, one of the government-approved tenancy deposit schemes.