The Importance of a Comprehensive Rental Property Inventory06 May 2016
We often get asked why a condition schedule report or inventory of the condition and contents of the rental property is so important.
Extremely common reactions from landlords are
“why do I need that, it’s unfurnished”
“I’m not that bothered about the furniture I’m leaving”
I cannot stress enough how important a comprehensive detailed inventory is to tenants, and how much easier it makes the move out and deposit return process.
By issuing tenants with a detailed report documenting the condition of the rental property and garden, you can be sure that if there are any differences when the tenant leaves the property, which you may feel the tenant should contribute toward from their deposit, you will be able to make that deduction.
A proper inventory should provide a detailed snapshot of the property and be signed off by the tenant upon move in.
What should it include:
- Detail of walls, ceiling and flooring including condition.
- Detail of all fittings including window dressings, lights, radiators, sockets inc. condition if each.
- Detail of all storage facilities inc garages, sheds inc condition
- Detail of garden, patio, driveways inc. condition
- Details of all furnishings inc. condition
- Detail of all appliances inc condition, make, model
The property inventory should also include a report on cleanliness, inc. windows, list of all smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, keys left in the property, opening meter readings.
Ideally the inventory should be backed up with photographic evidence of the condition and contents, which should be date stamped.
If you follow the above recommendations you will be protecting yourself from the risk of a tenant disputing any deposit deductions upon move out.
Remember, the onus is on the landlord to prove any deductions are fair, the funds belong to the tenant.
What does that mean:
Upon check out , despite your best efforts, if you can’t agree deductions with the tenant and the dispute goes to arbitration, ie. “the flooring was in perfect condition upon move in and now there is a large stain” will not be accepted by the dispute service. You must prove the flooring condition upon move in and move out, a full and detailed inventory will do just that, protecting you and your property.