The importance of inventory for landlords and tenants

Posted on 19 September 2018
The importance of inventory for landlords and tenants

A properly prepared comprehensive inventory plays a significant role in protecting both landlord and tenant.  Created at the start of every tenancy, an inventory will help to reduce the risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy over missing items, deposits and condition of the property.   Inventories are particularly important now that tenancy deposit schemes are in place across the UK as they form critical evidence in cases of disputes. 

Why should I use a professional inventory service?
 Success in deposit disputes is usually dependent on the quality of the inventory and the schedule of condition.  If an inventory is not carried out, or if it was insufficiently detailed, then it may not be clear how the property should be left before departure, which could lead to a deposit dispute. Dealing with a deposit dispute can be stressful and costly for those involved so it’s always preferable to avoid this.  In the event of a dispute the adjudicator will rely heavily on an independent and impartial inventory when it comes to providing evidence for decision making. 

As a member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) Fairview Inventories will compile an accurate record of all the contents and clearly detail the condition and cleanliness of the property. The fixtures, fittings and décor are recorded and, as an unbiased third party, they can assess the difference between fair wear and tear and damage.  It is therefore in your best interests, as a landlord or tenant, to ensure you have commissioned a third party Fairview clerk, all of whom are APIP qualified, to carry out your inventory.

What does the inventory report cover?

Fairview Inventories offer an accurate, professional and detailed photographic inventory for landlords, tenants and letting agents.  It is a detailed clearly written document with accompanying photographs, or video, that identifies the condition, contents and cleanliness of a property.  Below is an example of just some of the things it will consider

• Is any of the property’s furniture already damaged, stained, torn or chipped.
• Are there any marks, stains or damage to shelves, surfaces, ceiling, painted areas or wallpaper.
• Are there any stains or rips to the flooring or carpets.
• The condition of skirting boards, door frames and stair banisters.
• Do all windows open and close properly and are damage free.
• Check the condition and cleanliness of the kitchen cupboards and worktops
• Is there any sign of condensation, damp or mould.
• Make sure the oven, grill and hobs are clean and in full working order.
• Check the shower works, the doors, showerhead and curtains are fitted properly and are clean.
• Ensure the toilet is clean, in good working order and flushes properly.
• Do all bedroom furniture drawers work and are the insides of all drawers and wardrobes clean?
• Make sure that drives, gardens and paths are presentable and damage free.
• Check that fences and garden walls are not broken or damaged.
• Inspect any garages or sheds for damage and for clutter that may have to be removed.

What happens after an inventory report is compiled?
At time of check-in and check out, as well as during interim inspections, Morton Pinpoint letting agent will meet with the tenant and walk them through the property highlighting any issues, recording and dealing with any concerns or queries that might arise and ensuring the inventory is signed and dated by both parties, with a copy given to both landlord and tenant afterwards.  At the end of the tenancy, Morton Pinpoint will bring the signed check-in inventory to the check-out inspection so that they can accurately check the property, fixtures and fittings are being returned in the condition they were given and are able to make an assessment of what may reasonably be called fair wear and tear or damage.

Do I have to let my property through Pinpoint to use this service?
No, whilst Pinpoint will arrange for their services on behalf of any of the landlords signed up to them, Fairview Inventories are an independent inventory service and you can get in touch with them directly to make your own enquiries.
T: 0844 3350150

What else can I do to protect myself?

  • Make sure everyone is clear as to their responsibilities in terms of maintenance of the property, fixtures and fittings
  • Keep a copy of your tenancy agreement and the check-in inventory
  • Tenants - make sure you have permission from the landlord before making changes to decor, or drilling holes in walls to facilitate multi-room tv.
  • Keep a copy of any correspondence with tenant, landlord or letting agent regarding maintenance, changes to decor or installation of services such as sky etc.