The Importance of Check-In and Check-Out Reports

One of the most important things that you need to do as a landlord – among the many – is to carry out an inventory. This means making a list of everything in the property that you are going to rent out, including the structure of the property itself - walls, floors, ceilings, roof, drainpipes, drains, and so on.

Now this is not just a list of items but covers the condition of every item as well. This is important both for you as a landlord and for your tenant as well. If you have something that is in perfect condition when you let the property, but the tenant then somehow damages it during the course of the tenancy, then you are entitled by law to deduct money from the tenant’s deposit in order to cover any repair or replacement.

From the tenant’s point of view, inventory is important because if, say, there is a big scratch on a radiator, it must be noted in the inventory at the outset. That means that you, as the landlord, cannot claim money from the tenant’s deposit because the initial inventory shows that the scratch was already there when the tenant moved in.

Check-In Report

So, when the tenant moves in you need to carry out a check-in report which details everything in the property and most importantly its’ condition. Ideally, this check-in report should be carried out on the day the tenant moves in with the tenant present. This means that you can both agree on the condition of everything, and that makes life easier. If the tenant cannot be present, then you need to let him or her have a copy of the check-in report and give them a few days to make any comments – just in case there is damage to something, and you have missed it out. Once you both agree, you both have to sign the report.

During the tenancy, you will also need to carry out interim inspections. This is for a number of reasons, one of which is that it will enable you to spot any issues that might need maintenance or repair. It also provides you with an opportunity to see how your tenant is living and whether or not good care is being taken of your property.

When it comes to the end of the tenancy, you then need to make a check-out report which you can then compare with the original check-in report. If damage has occurred, you are then able to claim for repair or replacement from the tenant’s deposit.

Some landlords like to visit the property a couple of weeks before the end of the tenancy because this provides an opportunity to carry out a check-out report which shows the tenant any damage, and gives them the chance to carry out repairs or replace an item, before actually moving out. This can often save arguments later because the tenant can agree that something is their fault and fix it, so that they get the whole of their deposit back.

Gary, 25 March 2022
walls, floors, ceilings, roof, drainpipes, drains

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