Property Inventory Management Services for Landlords and Agents across Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and London.
What is a property inventory report ?
A property inventory report is a document which lists the contents and condition of a house or flat. This includes everything from the furniture, fixtures and fittings, doors, walls, ceilings, lights and flooring down to the last teaspoon. After the tenancy agreement it is the most important document in the letting process. It is usually carried out at the start of a tenancy and details the condition of the items and property at that time. When signed by the landlord and tenant it becomes a legally binding document and an integral part of the rental agreement. The property inventory report therefore forms the basis for whether or not a full refund of the deposit is given to the tenant at the end of the tenancy agreement and will also be crucial evidence in the case of a dispute. This is especially relevant since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS).
What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDPS)?
The TDPS came into effect in 2007, making property inventory reports and the use of independent inventory clerks to produce them even more essential. The aim of this scheme is to protect tenants from a small number of landlords and letting agents who unfairly withhold the tenant`s deposit at the end of a tenancy. The TDPS means that where a property is let the deposit must be controlled by an independent third party rather than the letting agent or landlord. Three companies are officially authorised to run Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes.These are:
The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) www.depositprotection.com
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) www.thedisputeservice.co.uk
This law means that it is now seen to be highly preferable that an independent third party company compiles and checks property inventories rather than the landord or the agent themselves.
Do I still need an inventory if the property is unfurnished?
Yes, because the inventory will also point out the condition of the walls, curtains, carpets, bathroom, kitchen appliances and the property as it stands. Some landlords believe that if their property is unfurnished they do not need an inventory because there is very little that can be stolen, broken or damaged. However, without an inventory if you deduct monies from the tenant’s deposit for damage to the walls and decoration and the tenant sues, it is likely that you will end up with a large bill.
What is a check in report?
The check in report compares the notes on the inventory to the content and condition of the property on the first day of tenancy to ensure that there is no variation since the inventory was completed. It also records meter readings and details of keys issued to tenants. It is vital that the check in report is agreed and signed by the landlord (or their agent) and the tenant as it forms the basis of the legal agreement between them.
What is a check out report?
The check out report is carried out on, or immediately after the tenant has moved out and records the condition and contents of the property. Any differences when compared with the check in report will be highlighted.
What is a periodic or mid-term inspection?
A periodic inspection takes place during the tenancy to ensure that maintenance and repairs are identified and addressed in good time. Regular inspections make economic sense as prevention or early detection of problems is often less costly in the long run.
Are photographs included in the report?
Yes, as in our experience the best way to avoid misinterpretation and disagreements is by combining the written reports with photographs. Marks, stains and damage are photographed and support the written description thereby avoiding disputes.
Can anyone prepare the inventory report?
You could prepare your own inventory report however, it would have a very limited value should a dispute arise. Therefore all inventories should be prepared by a trained inventory clerk from an independent company as they are trained to survey your property thoroughly and note everything in detail. If you prepare an inventory yourself and the other party disagrees with the inventory they may refuse to sign it, which will invalidate the report. You may also miss something vital which leads to a financial loss later on. It is also worth noting that judges do not look favourably upon inventories prepared by landlords and tend to view them as being biased against the tenant.
What is a snagging report?
This is designed to highlight typical defects in new build properties to builders and owners ensuring that they get sorted out in a timely fashion. This is especially important where the new owner is an investor and may not be able to easily visit the property.