There may be Errors in the Inventory Report

Creating an inventory report can be time consuming and may also have errors. For instance, if there is no note of the dent in the fridge door and no photograph of it, how can you prove that it was there at the beginning if the landlord later claims otherwise?

Many landlords today use an inventory app on their smartphone when doing the inventory at the beginning. At Reports2Go we produce a first-class inventory app that not only makes taking inventory faster, but also helps to ensure that the landlord does not miss anything because it gives prompts for things for them to look out for as they go around the property.

The landlord should give you a copy of the inventory report at the beginning of your tenancy so that you can double check that it is correct. You should be allowed a week or so after moving in to either confirm everything is correct or, most importantly, raise any issue about things that the inventory has missed or are quite simply wrong.

It is vital that you take proper note of all this, because if you have not raised any queries after a week, the landlord is entitled to consider the inventory correct. It would also be considered correct by an adjudicator, and so any damages would be deducted from your deposit.

The purpose of your deposit is to protect your landlord if you cause damage to the property during your tenancy which would cost them money to repair or replace, because they can deduct the cost from your deposit. This is all perfectly legal and above board.

There are several things that come under the heading of fair wear and tear. For instance, carpets do wear out through normal use, and if your property is supplied with carpets that may be brand new when you take on the tenancy, they will not be brand new when you leave. That is called fair wear and tear, and the landlord is not permitted to take money from your deposit to replace anything that has suffered from it.

So how do you know what is fair wear and tear and what may be damage that you have caused – either deliberately or inadvertently?

The answer is that the landlord should create an inventory report right at the beginning of your tenancy, preferably with you present when they do so, so that you both know what condition everything is in at the beginning. This means taking written notes and photographs of everything. So, that dent in the fridge door, hopefully, has been recorded with a photograph of it when you started your tenancy to proves that it was not caused by you.

Your deposit will be held under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, either with an authorised organisation, or by the landlord/letting agent covered by insurance. If held by the landlord/letting agent, the money must be kept safe in a different and secure account so that you can have it returned at the end of your tenancy, at your request, after a maximum of 10 days after the end of your tenancy.

Panos, 15 October 2021

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