Inventory Reports and Check-Ins – are both really necessary?

There are a few things in the property management and rental world that are misunderstood. One of these is home inventory reports and check-in reports, and whether they are different.

In truth, they can sometimes be used interchangeably and serve similar functions. However, it’s important to take note of the differences between them so you can achieve a fair and dispute-free tenancy.

Basic Definitions

  • An inventory report should list the rooms in a property, their condition and include photographs and descriptions for as much detail as is needed to accurately capture its current state. This completed report is then used by Landlords or Letting Agents.
  • The check-in report will include all items on this inventory report but is more for the benefit of the tenant who must sign-off on the details outlined in the report. It should also include all the descriptions and images the inventory report does, however, there may be some added information about items which may come to light with a second view of the property

An inventory report may have been created some time before the actual moving-In date and it’s possible, if the gap is a few weeks, that the property may be dusty in places. Meter reading may also have moved on since the property may be most likely being kept warm whilst empty. Electrical power may also be running to devices such as entry phones. So, a check-in report should act as an amendment to the inventory noting where cleanliness has deteriorated. Meter reading for gas, electricity, water, heat meters and oil tank must be update as appropriate.

A diligent inventory service should go through the whole inventory list at the check-in and giving the tenant an opportunity to comment, away from the time of the check-in, when there may be a lot of other items taking up their attention. It’s usual to allow a week for further comments and updates.

Avoiding Deposit Disputes

Tenants are only liable for damages and missing items. A good professional inventory service will help in determining repair or replacement costs, as it will detail the original quality and condition of items being claimed.

Essentially, the amount of deposit returned to the tenant will be determined by using the inventory and check out reports. This could be the entire sum or a reduced amount due to damage reductions from repair work. Deposits cannot make deductions for fair wear and tear.

5 Benefits of Accurate Check-In Reports

  • The inventory report or check-in report will set out the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, which is agreed by the tenant.
  • It will help with the attribution of maintenance costs.
  • The check-in report will provide tenants with a comprehensive guide on how to return the property at the end of the tenancy
  • It reduces the potential for disagreements about repairs and damage at the end of the tenancy.
  • It will help to safeguard the deposit of tenants.

Are Inventory Reports and Check-In Reports Compulsory?

The check-in is not compulsory. However, it has become industry best practice. The Landlord will receive a signed document with everything included for their own records. The tenant will receive a document with their comments and photographs included for their own records.

Many would see it as a mistake to miss out the inventory report or check-in report stages. You should ideally expect to have an inventory service performed for your property before anybody sees the property, so you can make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Gary , 16 July 2021
Inventory Reports and Check-Ins – are both really necessary?

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