Property Inventory – Why do You Need One?

What is a Property Inventory?

In simple words, a property inventory is an exhaustive list of all items within a property. You can create an inventory for any space, be it residential or commercial, furnished, part furnished or even unfurnished. Additionally, it can be created for a plot of land. An inventory report lists all furniture, fixtures, and fittings as well as a description of their condition. Basically, anything that could potentially be damaged is included in the report. For example:

  • Furniture (every piece of furniture in a furnished or part furnished property)
  • Fixtures (e.g. lamps and lights)
  • Fittings (taps and sinks)
  • Walls (look out for holes)
  • Flooring (can be carpet, wood, etc., check for scratches or holes)
  • Windows (including blinds) and doors
  • Paint (colour and condition)
  • Appliances
  • Ceilings (scratches or leaks)
  • Storage

How is a Property Inventory Created?

A property inventory is created by a designated person who walks around a property and takes notes of all items, fixtures and fittings and describes them in detail. It is also common practise to take photographs. The more detailed the report the less room for negotiation there is in case of a dispute.

Inventories and Landlords

From the landlord’s perspective a meticulously created inventory serves as a safety net in case of a damage caused by tenants. Landlords can apply for a deduction from deposit if they can prove an item within their property has been damaged.

A landlord can perform an inventory themselves or they can seek professional help.

A landlord must present a tenant with an inventory prior to the move-in date.

Inventories and Tenants

Once presented with a property inventory you should review it carefully and either sign or make amendments.

Inventories are extremely important form the tenant’s point of view as they serve as protection of the deposit in case of a dispute. Without an inventory a tenant is very likely to lose some, or even all, of their deposit. Therefore, it is vital the inventory is thoroughly checked before signing. It may also be a good idea to take your own photographs when asking for amendments in the report.

What exactly should you look out for?

  • Walls and floors – any holes, marks, scuffs, or dents
  • Mould and mildew – check all rooms, especially bathroom; look at windows as well
  • Windows and doors – are they in overall good condition? Are they opening easily?
  • Furniture – any rips, holes, or marks?
  • Hinges – check all doors and cupboards and wardrobes
  • Check all appliances – do they work?
  • Run the taps and check water pressure

Summary

Inventories are very important to the landlords and tenants. They should always be created with utmost care. Photographs constitute a helpful part of an inventory report. Both landlords and tenants should understand the role an inventory report plays in disputes.

If you are looking for a professional inventory clerk, we can help. Our team is highly experienced, and we always create inventory reports thoroughly, exhaustively and in depth. Try our professional property inventory services now.

Here’s the government’s guidance for landlords on how to let a property.

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