Inventories A Must For Both Landlord And Tenant?

1st February 2013

The Association of Rental and Letting Agents (ARLA) has called on tenants and landlords alike to consider the benefits of having a comprehensive inventory done upon commencement of a new let. Ian Potter, Operations Manager of ARLA, said “Deposit disputes can be one of the biggest problems for both parties involved in any rental property, and many potential issues can be avoided if a professional inventory is prepared.

For any managed property George F White undertake an inventory as part of the fee but for those properties not under management or where the agent does not include an inventory it can well be worth the cost of having one professionally produced – for both landlord and tenant alike.

A true inventory is not simply a list of items in the property – it is more a record of condition of a property on or immediately before a tenant moves in, commenting on condition and cleanliness at the start of the tenancy. Thus enabling an easy, indisputable comparable of the state of the property on move out. In effect it protects the tenant as much as the landlord in being able to show exactly what state the property was in on occupation compared to that of how left in on move out. Thus making it apparent if the landlord has any entitlement to retain some or even all of the bond or deposit for damage and/or cleaning.

It can be undertaken by anyone however it does need to be agreed by both parties on move in, or at very least allowing either party to lodge an objection to its accuracy. Photos are a good support for comments made in a written inventory but should not be considered a replacement for the written word. Photos which are unsigned and undated generally are not worth the effort so make sure they are accepted from the outset.

A well put-together inventory can give both landlords and tenants peace of mind throughout the occupation period. The inventory is not designed to catch tenants out, but rather to ensure both parties are in agreement over the quality of the property being rented. If conducted correctly, and agreed by both tenant and landlord, an inventory should form a key point of reference for any deposit-return queries or issues over reported damage.

If you have any doubts as to how this may affect your property either as a tenant or as a landlord please don’t hesitate to contact the property management team at George F Whites on 01665 603581. We are here to help and will gladly try to explain your position and how it may effect you when a tenancy comes to an end.

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