What is an inventory and why have one?
I was once speaking to a landlord at a forum for lettings agents and landlords and we got onto the topic of inventories - the subject being my stock in trade. He remarked that he never has one done. "Each time I re-rent a property, I throw away damaged furnishings and get replacements from the local British Heart Foundation shop". Well if that works for him then well and good. I wouldn't recommend that as a viable strategy. It's not that difficult to get one done. There are plenty of resources available to do a decent job.
"What is the point of an inventory?", you might ask. Briefly, an inventory is a statement-of-condition report for a property at the point at which rental commences. It is also a record of all the items in the property and a place to verify the correct functioning and testing of safety devices such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Its principal purpose is to help protect the deposit from a tenant's perspective and the condition and contents of a property from a landlord's perspective. Ideally, it should be carried out by someone independent of both parties but that is not something mandated in law. The main objective is that it should be a fair reflection of the condition and contents, without any bias, and a document that can be used by a third party to arrive at a decision should a dispute arise.
To make that decision process as easy as possible, the report should contain a sufficient level of descriptive information - text and photographs. Any significant observations should be highlighted and be easy to review. The level of detail is important as often one work or phrase description can be easily interpreted differently. Whether an item is in "good condition" or not is be open to individual interpretation. So, it helps to have a glossary of terms as to what is meant by each level of condition, to provide some basis for the use of a term. "Good condition" might be defined as "an item or content that is not new, that has been used, but is still usable as intended and free from damage or contamination, or free from marks and scuffs in the case of walls, doors etc.". A good inventory will have a glossary with such terms and more defined.
It helps to have identifiable sections for meters, keys etc. Always look for images that time-stamped so there can be little doubt at check-in and ultimately at check-out. That brings us to the topic of multiple reports - Inventories, Check-ins and Check-outs. Something for next time. Till then, adios...
Ben, 24 July 2018
- The Check-in Process in the Reports Cycle
- Doing an Inventory: Part 5 - Enhancing the Report
- Doing an Inventory: Part 4 - Finishing Up
- Doing an Inventory: Part 3 - Describing Items
- Doing an Inventory: Part 2 - At the Property
- How to do an Inventory: Part 1 - Preparation
- All you need to know about Property Reports as a Tenant
- Use the FREE Reports2Go App to Speed-up Inventories
- Using on-board Dictation Software for Reports
- A guide to Inventory, Check-In, and Check-Out reports
- Reasons for Landlords to carry out Mid-term Inspections
- How to Carry out an Inventory Quickly, Accurately, and Easily
- What does an Inventory Clerk do, and should I hire one?
- Inventory – A Guide for Tenants
- Things to keep in mind when conducting a Check-in Report
- Free Schedule of Condition - Why You Need it
- End-of-Tenancy clean? All you need to know
- Reports During Covid - 19 Restrictions
- Mid-term inspections as a Landlord
- How to avoid Deposit Angst with the Reports2Go app
- The Importance of the Reports2Go App for Inventories
- All about the Reports2Go App
- The Importance of an Inventory for a Tenant
- Dictation makes for a much faster and more Accurate Inventory
- How the Reports2Go app works
- Free Property App
- Completely Free App
- Tenant Fees Act and Inventories
- When you have a lot of Inventories, Reports2Go will save you time
- Periodic Inspections and why they are good idea
- Inventory meets the 21st century with Reports2Go
- Our App saves you a lot of time on Mid-Term inspections
- What is an inventory and why have one?
- Text Mode
- Audio Mode
- Our Inventory App
- Inventory Associations
- The life cycle of a Report