The work of an Inventory Clerk can be exceedingly varied

If you are tired of the job that you may have been doing for several years, and are considering a change of direction, has it occurred to you that becoming an inventory clerk could be an interesting and profitable way of earning a living?

Inventory clerk? What’s an inventory clerk?

Well, it is a little bit of an unusual term, to be fair, especially as a clerk is defined as “a person employed in an office or bank to keep records, accounts, and undertake other routine administrative duties.”. It doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it?

However, in this case it is far more exciting than working in a bank and keeping records. Keep reading.

Anyone who owns a property and rents it out to a tenant is known as a landlord (or landlady) and being one can mean earning a good income without actually doing a lot of work. True, you have to have enough money to purchase a property to get started, or you might be lucky enough to have an inheritance.

Either way, you rent out your property to someone who needs somewhere to live but is unable for whatever reason to get on the property ladder. It sounds great, because it seems that a landlord just sits back doing nothing and collecting the rent. However, there is a little more to it than that.

When you rent out a property it has to meet certain conditions, so it may cost money to carry out repairs etc. Or the property may be in perfect condition, but all properties age and so they will need repairs, re-decorating, and so on, from time to time. So, it is not all honey and roses.

Then your tenant may, or may not, be a good payer. Your tenant may also do damage to the property, albeit accidentally, so the rule is that you take a deposit from the tenant when he or she moves in and then if damage is done, for whatever reason, you can claim the cost of repairs back from the deposit.

All good so far.

But how can you prove that the tenant is responsible for damage?

The answer is an inventory. You take a good look at your property before the tenant moves in and you make a note of the condition of everything at that point. When the tenant moves out, you do the same again. If there has been damage caused in the meantime, then you can charge the tenant for it. If you are a sensible landlord, you will also check the condition of the property on a regular basis during the course of the tenancy. This allows you to spot any damage and also allows you to see things that the tenant may not report such as leaks, tiles falling off the roof, and so on.

Now many landlords don’t have the time to do all this, especially if they have several properties. So, they will employ an inventory clerk to do it for them.

As an inventory clerk, you are in different places every day, and meeting different people. You need to go through each property and take all the notes of the condition of everything and then write up a report each time so that the landlord knows if anything needs fixing before it gets worse (the tiles, for instance) and also if the tenant has caused any damage which needs repairing.

Taking inventory used to be very time consuming, using a notepad and writing down the condition of everything, but today you can get an inventory clerk app in the UK called Reports2Go that speeds everything up considerably.

You simply download it on to your mobile or tablet and then you can type up the condition of everything as you go through each room in the property. Alternatively, you can simply dictate into the app, then upload it to your portal on the Reports2Go server and type it up later. That is even faster. We will even type it up for you for a small fee.

So, you can get through far more inventory reports in a day for all those landlords who need your services. Even better, the Reports2Go inventory clerk app in the UK is completely FREE to download and use!

What could be better?

We would recommend joining an association such as Propertymark or the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks. Both provide courses and accreditations. Their teaching is thorough and will give all the guidance to get going. Also get some professional indemnity insurance and you will be all set. Introduce yourself to local letting agents and join a local property club, there are many, where you’ll get a chance to meet landlords and property investors.

Dan, 24 September 2021

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