How to Perform a Proper Rental Inventory
If you are a landlord or a prospective tenant, you can benefit from having access to a rental inventory. An inventory is a document, which contains details about the condition of the property and its contents. Without an inventory, there is scope for disagreements to arise both during and after the tenancy.
What exactly is a rental inventory?
A rental inventory is a document, which is compiled when a new tenant moves into a property. It is essentially a report, which contains information about the condition of the property and the contents that are provided in line with the terms of the agreement. Although there are no legal specifications or requirements, a good rental inventory will contain detailed descriptions, images, and scaled ratings, for example, the condition of the carpet in the living room is either poor, fair or good. Every room will appear in the inventory, and every item, from kettles and washing machines to vases and lampshades will be documented. Identical versions of the inventory will be made available to tenants and property owners, and both parties will be asked to sign the document to confirm that it is accurate. The inventory is compiled at the beginning of the tenancy and then repeated at the end when the tenant moves out.
How to perform a proper rental inventory
The rental inventory will be drawn up by the property owner or the letting agent. A good inventory should contain photographs, as well as written descriptions, and every room should be included, in addition to external spaces and features. The inventory should move from one room to the next, providing detailed information about the general condition of the space, the contents found within, and the condition of those contents. Every item that is in the house or flat when the tenancy begins should be noted in the inventory.
Once the inventory has been compiled, it should be given to the prospective tenant, and they should be advised to read it carefully and record and report any issues before signing. The inventory should be accessible to the tenant throughout the tenancy. If there are any discrepancies, for example, the condition of the carpet is rated good by the letting agent, but the tenant spots signs of wear and stains, the tenant has the right to make notes and go back to the agent before the final document is agreed.
The benefits of having an inventory for your property
Rental inventories are beneficial for both tenants and property owners. If you’re a tenant, you have a responsibility to look after the property, but you shouldn’t be penalised for general wear and tear or damage to items that you own. As a landlord, an inventory provides concrete evidence of the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy and information about what was supplied with the house. If there are disagreements about upkeep or damage, the inventory can be used to settle disagreements and eliminate situations where it’s one person’s word against another. If you have an inventory, you also have a record of the contents of the house, and you can ensure that your tenant leaves everything that was in the house there. As a property owner, you don’t want to leave yourself open to complaints or arguments that arise as a result of failing to have evidence. If a tenant says that the kitchen floor was damaged when they moved in, for example, and you know that it was in pristine condition, you could find yourself fighting a battle even if you know that the tenant is responsible for the damage. With an inventory, you can prove that you are in the right within seconds.
An inventory can also be beneficial because it provides tenants with a guide of how to leave the property. If they have replaced lamps, vases or pictures, for example, they’ll know to dig those items out and put them back before they leave. This will ensure the property owner has all their possessions as expected and also maximise the chances of the tenant receiving their deposit back in full.
Whether you’re a landlord or a prospective tenant, it’s incredibly useful to have access to a rental inventory. Although there are no legal guidelines related to inventory production, a rental inventory should be thorough, detailed, and accurate. The inventory contains information about the state of every single room, in addition to pictures of white goods, furniture, and decorative accessories provided by the property owner. The inventory provides tenants and landlords with a written record, which can help to eliminate the risk of disputes and disagreements and ensure the property is well-maintained and left in good condition.