We're happy to offer advise to Landlords on their property inventories and how using our property inspection services and inventory clerks can reduce the stress caused by end of tenancy disputes. We've put together a list of frequently asked questions, which you may find useful. Please call us if you have any questions, we're happy to help.
Q: Why do I need a Property Inventory?
The Housing Act 2004, requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits on assured shorthold tenancies. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a free, impartial dispute resolution service for when disagreements arise over how the money is divided at the end of a tenancy. It is therefore advised that a comprehensive independent inventory (independent of Landlord, Tenant and Letting Agent), be compiled, to ensure that you avoid any dispute at the end of the tenancy, and provides justification for deducting the costs of any damage caused to the property.
Q: What is a Property Inventory?
A property inventory and schedule of condition and cleanliness is a binding legal document that provides both a written and photographic record of the contents, and the condition and cleanliness of a property at the start of the tenancy. It should be signed by the tenant.
Q: Why use an Independent Inventory Specialist?
Should there be a dispute at the end of the tenancy, the matter will be referred to the dispute resolution arbitrators. If the report is not independent, or is incomplete, messy, hard to read or without sufficient photographic evidence, then they will likely find in favor of the tenant. A detailed inventory by an Independent Inventory Clerk is the only way to ensure that the record is a fair and true representation of the property at the start of the tenancy. We are unbiased in our opinions. We note and record many things that Landlords, Tenants and Letting Agents frequently miss. It is therefore of benefit to all parties involved in the tenancy agreement and protects the Landlords interests as well as potential abuse of the tenant’s deposit.
Q: Does the Property Inventory have to be signed?
We highly recommend the Inventory Report is signed by the tenant. If there is no signed paperwork, then your claim can be rejected by the dispute resolution arbitrators, and the deposit returned in full to the tenant. We know of many letting agents, who simply e-mail a copy of the inventory report to the tenant and say that they have 7 days in which to raise any comments on the Property Inventory. This is not the right approach and can lead to the Landlord losing their claim.
Q: Why can’t I do my own letting inventory?
The tenant’s deposit is held by one of the tenancy deposit providers in the UK and is the property of the tenant. If a dispute occurs, the inventory report may not be considered binding unless it has been prepared independently. A landlord or letting agency may not be considered neutral should the tenant complain that the report was biased as it was written by the Landlord or agent.
Q: My property is unfurnished, do I still need an inventory?
Yes you do. Inventories and their Schedule of Condition and Cleanliness are about the whole condition and cleanliness of the property, not just listing the contents. They itemize everything from windows, floors, doors, door frames, locks, sanitary ware, make of boiler, cooker and gardens etc.
Q: What is a Check In?
A Check In is conducted at the start of the tenancy, before the keys are handed to the tenant. It is an opportunity to inspect the property and compares any differences between the inventory and the condition of the property on the date of residence. It is therefore considered necessary that a detailed Check In report is conducted to avoid any disputes at a later date.
Q: What is a Mid-term inspection?
Once your tenants have been in situ for three months, we recommend that you find out how your property is being treated, and check to see if there are any maintenance issues which may need addressing. These can be added to the Mid-term report. We will check for signs of sub-letting, pets, smoking, damage, smoke alarm test functioning etc.
Q: What happens if I disagree with some comments in the report?
Our property inventories and reports are conducted by professional inventory clerks who are trained to record and assess the findings at the property. Their views are independent and unbiased. All clients have a right to query anything that is noted within the report. You must advise us before we visit the property of any new items which are at the property or any maintenance issues, so that these can all be noted in the report.
Q: How quickly will I get my report?
We will usually email your report as a pdf document within an agreed timeframe. If we are completing a check-out using a 3rd party inventory then the report time will be longer and our costs may be higher. The report will be emailed to the booker (this will usually be the agent or landlord). We cannot send this report to another party unless instructed in writing.
Q: What are your costs?
Our prices depend upon whether the property is furnished or unfurnished and the size of the property. Please contact us 0121 705 2244 for a quote.
Q: What does a lettings property inventory look like?
It can be a very long document, many are 80-100 pages long. Please ask us for a sample copy.
Q: Do you have a sample inventory report that I can see?
Of course, we are happy to show you our detailed inventories. Please complete our enquiry form and we’ll send you a sample pdf.