Landlords deem the tenancy agreement to be the most important document when they are starting a new tenancy. In terms of importance, the property inventory is certainly one of the next most important documents for any landlord.
Without this crucial document being in place, a landlord could experience severe difficulty in confirming the condition that the property given to the tenant and proving any dilapidation incurred during tenancy.
We recommend that landlords should value a professional inventory versus running the risk of losing hundreds if not; thousands of pounds should misfortune strike with negligent or malicious tenants. This simple but detailed document is a small investment to protect the landlord’s rights to charge for damage – somewhat in parallel to an insurance policy.
Afterall, gone are the days where landlords and letting agents could indicate damage incurred and simply levy a cost for the remediation. We are now in the realms of government-approved deposit providers that may be called to ultimately mediate any dispute over damages from the professional documents and photos provided. This is why without a clear, concise and detailed inventory – a landlord’s rights to claim for damage are at significant risk.
We spoke to inventory expert Charlie Saunders of Assist inventories who provided the following inventory insights: -
You’d be surprised how much damage a tenant can do.
A property inventory doesn’t just ensure you get the correct number of knives and forks back at the end of a tenancy, it protects you against big losses - because even careful tenants can have accidents.
You need proof of damage or theft.
A good property inventory provides you with undoubted evidence that any damage wasn’t there before. If you don’t have one, that fight is going to be a little bit tricky. Likewise, if some things have gone missing, a good, signed inventory empowers you against the loss.
In short, Charlie confirms “You’re wasting your time taking a deposit if you don’t have an inventory”
We always recommend our landlords have a detailed written & photographed inventory to ensure that nothing has been missed. It is also important recognise the benefits of instructing an independent inventory clerk. Having an impartial 3rd party draw up the inventory increases credibility should any deductions be challenged by the tenant, deposit scheme or even a court judge.