Jargon Buster for New Landlords and Tenants

Every industry has its own terminologies and key terms. In the tenancy world, many of these define each stage of a property’s life cycle. If landlords and tenants have a shared understanding of these terms, there’s less risk of confusion and miscommunication.

Here are our top 5:

Schedule of condition

A schedule of condition is an in-depth descriptive report of the property’s interior and exterior. The report contains details of the condition of the property’s contents, its appliances (e.g. white goods), fixtures and fittings, decor, numbers of sets of keys, meter readings, checks on working of alarms, noting validity EICR, Gas Safe and EPC certificates, and so on. Typically, this will be supported by a series of time-stamped photographs to evidence any observations.

A schedule of condition is sometimes also referred to as an inventory and is typically carried out by a landlord, letting agent or inventory clerk.

Check-in and out

Check-in is when a tenant receives the keys to a property before moving in; conversely, check-out is when the tenant leaves at the end of a tenancy. Check-in usually involves a quick update of the Inventory or Schedule of Condition with fresh meter readings and the addition of any items or existing damage that may have been missed in Inventory report.

Check-out is a more thorough exercise involving re-inspecting the property and comparing the current state with the state in the Inventory/Check-in report. Meter readings will also be noted once again. A Check-out report is an important document as it may affect the amount returned to the tenant from the deposit in case items are damaged or missing.

Mid-tenancy inspection

There are several benefits to this process but principally it confirms, or otherwise, if a property is being well looked after by the tenant. The person conducting the inspection will look at the property’s overall condition and ensure the property is not being used in any unauthorised way, such as subletting or having pets when they are not permitted. Any landlord related maintenance issues are advised to be addressed after a mid-tenancy inspection. Sometimes mid-term reports are called Periodic reports.

Tenancy dispute

Landlords can deduct the repair cost from a tenant’s deposit if anything is damaged during a tenancy or missing at its conclusion. Damage has to be scoped in relation to ‘fair wear and tear’. For example, a new carpet at the start of tenancy will not be the same at the end. Deposit deduction can only be made if the condition is much worse than would be expected after ‘normal’ use. A tenant can dispute deposit deductions that they believe are down to fair wear and tear. If a dispute is not settled and ends up in adjudication, both sides must offer detailed evidence to support claims.

How Reports2Go can help

Understanding jargon is just one aspect of successful property management. Keeping accurate records throughout a property’s lifecycle is essential. It can help prevent potential issues and disagreements and draw attention to repairs that need to be carried out.

Try our free app and portal combination to guide you through the process. Then, use it to take photos and make detailed notes throughout each tenancy.

Gary, 05 May 2023
Jargon Buster for New Landlords and Tenants

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