The importance of property inventories

Posted on 20th November 2014

We strongly believe and advise all landlords that having a professional inventory carried out is essential when renting out your property. Here’s why..

 How do we do our inventories?

 Our inventories are done professionally and thoroughly by a trained member of staff. They combine a written element of each room, as well as accompanying photographs. We also take meter readings for gas, electricity and water (if applicable).

 What else does the inventory cost pay for?

 Our inventories provide good value for money and pay for a variety of things. Firstly, the inventory is very thorough and time-consuming, taking anywhere from between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the size of the property. When the Tenant moves in, we will also inform all of the utility suppliers for you, as well as the local Council Tax office and Northumbrian Water. When the Tenant moves out, we will meet with them at the property to go through the original inventory and ensure it has been left clean and tidy. If there are any issues with it, we will resolve the disputes using the Deposit Protection Scheme, which saves you lots of time and energy. We will also inform utility suppliers of final meter readings, as well as letting the Council Tax office and Northumbrian Water know your Tenant has vacated.

 My property is unfurnished. Do I still need an inventory?

 The answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes’. Some Landlords believe because their property is unfurnished, they do not need an inventory. This is not the case. What about the carpets, walls, kitchen units, any white goods, skirting boards, ceiling, windows, banisters, blinds and curtains, locks and handles etc? What if it’s not been cleaned? The list goes on.

 What happens if I don’t have a professionally done inventory and the Tenant causes damage to my property?

 Without a professionally prepared inventory, any damage caused by the Tenant whilst in your property will be impossible to prove if the Tenant disputes your findings as there is no evidence as to the condition of the property before the tenant moved into it.  This means that the potential losses for a Landlord runs into the thousands of pounds.

 Can I do my own inventory instead?

Yes, you can but Tenancy Deposit Schemes where the Tenant’s bond is registered do not look favourably on inventories that are not done to a professional standard and that don’t include both written elements and photographic evidence, dates and signatures. The majority of invnetories that we have seen that have prepared by landlords are not done properly and do not contain information that a redress Scheme would rely upon. These Schemes have also have stated they prefer inventories that have been prepared by third parties.