It is Critical that Inventory Reports are Accurate
When you are a landlord letting property to tenants, it is part of life that, however well the tenant takes care of your property, it will not be in exactly the same condition at the end of the tenancy as when it started. This is the result of normal wear and tear which takes place all the time, even in your own home. Things such as carpets wear as time passes, and paintwork becomes shabby so will need redecorating. These things are not the responsibility of the tenant and are simply a part of your overhead.
However, your tenant will be responsible for damages – which can be the result of carelessness, negligence, or even deliberate damage – and for cleaning. Making a decision about which of these situations has occurred, and whether it is appropriate to make any deductions from the tenancy deposit depends on having an accurate inventory and check-in report at the beginning of the tenancy.
Carrying out an inventory report can be time-consuming, but it needs to be detailed and accurate. Ideally, it should be carried out with the tenant present on the day that the tenant is to move in, but this may not always be practical, especially in the current pandemic circumstances. With the tenant present, it is much easier to agree on the condition of everything, along with any damages or existing wear and tear.
The inventory report should record the condition and the cleanliness of the property, together with details of fixtures and fittings, decoration, and any contents, the latter of which can be considerable if let fully furnished. There should also be meter readings if appropriate, and it is always a good idea to add photographs of any items that may have a scratch, dent, or whatever.
The tenant needs to agree to the inventory report, and the best way they can is to be present at the time it is carried out. However, if not, a copy of the report must be given to the tenant and in this case, they be given a few days – normally a week – in order to make any notes or disagreements and to sign and return a copy to the landlord or agent.
The main part of the check-in report should have a detailed description of each room, commencing with the main entrance, and working through each room step by step, recording notes as you go. If the property is furnished, or part furnished, it is a good idea to keep a note of makes and model numbers of appliances which can help with assessing any damage and related costs at the end of the tenancy. It also helps to confirm that the same item is left behind.
The inventory should also detail the condition of the garden, garage, shed, fencing, gates, and so on, where appropriate. While one may not expect a tenant to be the next Alan Titch marsh, the garden should at least be kept tidy. The report should also cover things such as downpipes, drains, gutters, and any slipped tiles, which many people seem to forget about.
Of course, carrying out check-in and check-out reports, along with interim reports, can be time-consuming. This is particularly the case if you are a landlord with several properties, or perhaps an inventory clerk. It is also easy to miss things, and this is why our inventory clerk app at Reports2Go are so useful.
Our inventory clerk app be downloaded to a mobile or tablet from Google Play or The App Store completely free of charge, and they make taking inventory and check-out reports so much quicker and easier.
Rather than using a clipboard and notepad, it is much easier to type up the notes on your mobile as you go, or alternatively dictate them into the app. Most importantly, the apps will give you prompts as you go through each room so that you don’t miss anything.
Once you have finished the report, you simply upload to your portal on our server, and it will be ready to download in a few minutes if you have used text mode. If you have used audio mode, you can either download it and type it up at the office, or for a small fee our team will type it up for you.
Gary, 11 June 2021
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