Tenants should always read, review & sign an inventory renting a property from a Landlord or Agent. The inventory should be conducted before & after each tenant moves in/out of the property.
Many Tenants fail to consider the importance of such a check but having a detailed inventory completed protects you as a Tenant in the future
What is an inventory?
An inventory is an itemised list of the contents at the property & their condition. It should include all furniture included by the Landlord as part of the furnishings, but it should also point out the condition of the walls, curtains, carpets, bathroom, kitchen appliances, garden & property. It should be signed by the Landlord & the Tenants as an accurate representation of the property at the start of the tenancy. If there are any amendments to the inventory during your tenancy they should be recorded & agreed by both parties.
Why have an inventory?
Many Tenants fail to ensure there is a proper inventory of the property before moving in. This means that in the event of any damage to the property the Tenants will have little proof that it was not caused by them if it was already existing prior to moving in.
Then when it comes time to move out of your rented property your Landlord could hold you as the Tenant responsible for the damage & withhold the cost to repair from your deposit.
If you raise a dispute with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme you would need to be able to prove the damage was not caused by you. This is where a detailed inventory is useful.
The importance of reviewing the inventory
Before you sign any inventory review the entire inventory at the rental property. Go room by room & ensure that all the comments & notes are correct. It is at this point that any errors or omissions should be rectified. Don’t be afraid to request that anything you think could be noted against you later is added to the inventory. This will ensure that the inventory is as complete as possible & you are as protected as possible. You may think that going through each light switch & cupboard is obsessive but in the event of a Landlord claiming that you damaged an item it is important that you have ensure it was noted the condition on the day you moved in.
Where possible take photographs.
The more that’s include in an inventory the better. The inventory a Landlord provides you with may or may not include photographs. If there is a damaged item that is not already included in the Landlords photographs, take some of your own. Most mobile phones have cameras built in so take a moment to snap a picture of the condition on the day you sign the inventory so you have this as photographic proof if required. If you are taking a photo of damage where possible include a measure reference if possible, this maybe important if the size of the damage is in dispute later.
Also, it’s not just damage you need to photograph, it’s important to take photos of the property in the condition you receive it.
Is there anything else I should do?
Where possible ensure that you check & sign a copy of the inventory prior to moving into the property & on the day you move out. This allows you to clarify with the Landlord any notes you have made & ensures that should an issue arise in the future you have signed proof of the condition of the property.
Information contained in this article may have changed since it was first published. Ezylet strongly advises you to seek legal advice from a qualified professional.