Is an Inventory Report needed for Unfurnished Properties?

Some people believe you don’t need an inventory report for unfurnished properties or ones that don’t have any fixtures or fittings that are particularly high value, but this just isn’t the case.

In this article, we explore the importance of performing an inventory report for your unfurnished properties as well as offer some advice on how you can create one.

What is included in an Inventory Report for an Unfurnished Property?

There is a lot that goes into your inventory report that you might not immediately think of. Beyond your sofas and beds, landlords must add to their records things like appliances and even the colour of the walls.

For instance, if someone may switch white goods you have installed, or they may decide to paint the walls in a colour that they prefer. Both have happed so you need a record of exactly what the place was like before the tenancy started so that you can claim the necessary funds from their deposit to amend the change.

Other items that should be added to the report of an unfurnished property include:

  • Flooring types and the specific type of wood or carpet
  • The type and condition of windows and blinds or curtains
  • Fixed cabinets, shelves or mirrors in any of the rooms
  • Showers, baths and sinks
  • Special tiling throughout any of your home
  • Light fixtures
  • Meters and alarm
  • External fittings e.g., hosepipes, garden furniture, plants(!)

Is an Inventory Required for Unfurnished Properties

If you have chosen to rent out your property unfurnished, you should follow all the standard procedures that you would with a furnished property, including a full check-in and check-out report and full condition report of the building.

There are certainly far fewer items that could be damaged or end up missing with an unfurnished property, but there may still be many areas of the property that can sustain damage and require either repair or replacement.

An inventory is often the only document landlords have when it comes to legitimately withholding funds from the deposit for replacements, repairs and cleaning. Without a record of exactly what is inside the building, you could face unnecessary disputes with your tenants.

Sometimes, over long tenancies, neither you nor your tenants will remember exactly what was in the property when they first moved in. You could be dealing with a family of four living in a house for several years who might have changed and re-changed many parts of the house over the course of their time there, including the colour of the walls, shelves, and various fittings.

Whatever you may have permitted to be changed it is best to keep a record of it and how it was when the tenancy started. Some changes can go you may be happy to allow, but others that are more serious, such as changing neutral wall colours to very dark or very bright colours will probably need to be changed before you let the property to new tenants.

Final Words

The inventory report, check-in and check-out documenting an unfurnished property ensure that you have an accurate snapshot and photographic evidence of the property.

If a dispute is raised, your inventory report for your unfurnished property will play a key part in the evidence provided to the adjudicators so that you can improve your chances of receiving money from the deposit.

Gary, 07 January 2022
Is an Inventory Report needed for Unfurnished Properties?

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