Wear and tear to carpets, flooring and other fixtures, fittings and decorations will, inevitably, have taken place. Even well looked after contents will deteriorate with time and use. Landlords need to allow for fair wear and tear during a tenancy. Tenants will normally be liable for breakages, missing items, or damage to the property which is in excess of fair wear and tear. This will arise where a property suffers because of the tenant’s carelessness, negligence, misuse or deliberate damage.
Completing the full inventory process normally consists of:
There is no reason why a landlord cannot produce their own inventory, but there are advantages as well as pitfalls to them doing so. A landlord may lack the expertise to complete the process fully. They may not see everything that is wrong with the property because they are too familiar with it; conversely, they may not be able to assess damage objectively because it is their property.
A thorough check-in inventory includes a detailed list of the property’s items and locations as well as a schedule of condition, which documents the level of cleanliness throughout the property as well as a precise description of the condition of each room’s fixtures. Additionally, if not integrated in the report, the check-in inventory should include high-quality images that are time and date stamped.
It’s crucial to obtain the renter’s consent to this statement of condition, and the easiest way to do it is by visiting the rental property with the tenant to confirm their acceptance of the statement of condition during “check in.”
This report serves as the foundation for everything that follows when examining how a tenant has occupied and maintained the property, as well as any alterations discovered during mid-term inspections and at the end of the tenancy, during “check out.”
The amount of damage a tenant can cause might surprise you, This damage may include stains on carpets, shattered windows, burns on worktops, holes in walls, or damaged doors, to name a few. You are instantly at a disadvantage in any negotiations with your tenant when the tenancy ends if you don’t have a check-in inventory or if what you do have isn’t comprehensive enough.
When the tenancy ends, a thorough inventory can assist to settle things amicably. Remember, if there is no inventory, there is no evidence with which to bargain, and this raises the question of whether obtaining a security deposit is even necessary given how difficult it will be to demonstrate that the damage was caused by the tenant.