All you need to know about Property Reports as a Tenant
If you are a tenant moving into a new property, one of the things that is essential when you begin is a Schedule of Condition or Inventory. This document which should detail the condition of contents and fittings at some point close to the time you move in. In addition, there is usually a Check-in Report undertaken with you on the day of moving-in. The Check-in is an opportunity to update the Inventory with items that may have been missed but also to update meter readings. These should have details of the meter number, type of supply (pre-paid, post-paid) and the readings of various tariffs and balance amounts, if applicable. The physical readings should be accompanied by photographs which are timestamped. In fact, all of the photographs in the reports should be date and timestamped. The cleanliness and decorative order should be noted.
Your deposit will be held with one of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme approved operators or by the by the agent or landlord. If held by the latter, then they will need to cover the deposit with an approved insurance scheme. You should ask which method the landlord/agent uses.
You should be given a few days, 5 to 7 is typical, to further provide any evidence of items or pre-existing damage that may have been missed in the inventory or check-in report. You should accompany any of your observations with good photographs. The reports should be modified as per your feedback and you should be given the updated report. Once the feedback interval has expired, you will be deemed to have accepted the report as accurate.
During the course of the tenancy there will be the expected wear and tear of items such as carpets. Wear and tear is not deductible from the deposit. To keep a track of such things, the agent will usually undertake Mid-term Inspections . These are arranged in advance with at least 24 hours’ notice. The agent should be able to confirm that the tenancy is proceeding on the terms agreed, for example, no pets no smoking, and that the property is being well looked after. These visits also provide you an opportunity to point out issues of concern, for example, that the boiler not working properly or there is a leak in the external drains. The landlord is responsible for the fabric of the building being maintained in good order throughout. Your responsibility is keeping the property and contents in good order. Mid-term inspections should be quick and usually completed in 15-20 minutes.
At the end of the tenancy will be a Check-out Report . Again, meter readings will be updated, and the overall condition of each room will be photographed from different angles. Items that have suffered damage, for example, stains on the carpets or are missing will be noted.
The final process before your deposit is returned will be for the agent to make a fair assessment of deterioration. Ignoring the expected wear and tear, there may be a deduction. It is best to ensure that before Check-out the property has received a clean to the same standard as on Check-in and that all fixtures and fittings are in place once more. It is also a good idea to take your own meter readings accompanied by photographs on your exit.
At Reports2Go we have produced an app which landlords and agents can use on their table/smart phone to carry out an inventory and all subsequent reports. It is designed to ensure that all items are covered and accompanied by time-stamped photographs. Also included are quick surveys on the decorative order and state of appliances.
Gary, 25 September 2020
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