We are happy to offer you guidance, and advise on all aspects of property inventories and procedures. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions, which you may find useful. Please call us if you have any questions, we are happy to help.
Q: Why do I need a Property Inventory?
The Housing Act 2004, requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits on assured shorthold tenancies. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a free, impartial dispute resolution service for when disagreements arise over how the money is divided at the end of a tenancy. It is therefore advised that a comprehensive independent inventory (independent of Landlord, Tenant and Letting Agent), be compiled, to ensure that you avoid any dispute at the end of the tenancy, and provides justification for deducting the costs of any damage caused to the property.
Q: What is a Property Inventory?
A property inventory is a binding legal document that provides both a written and photographic record of the condition of a property and it’s contents at the start of a tenancy. It should be signed by both tenant and inventory clerk.
Q: Why use an Independent Inventory Specialist?
Should there be a dispute at the end of the tenancy, the matter will be referred to the dispute resolution arbitrators. If the report is not independent, or is incomplete, messy, hard to read or without sufficient photographic evidence, then they will likely find in favor of the tenant. A detailed inventory by an Independent Inventory Clerk is the only way to ensure that the record is a fair and true representation of the property at the start of the tenancy. We are unbiased in our opinions. We note and record many things that Landlords, Tenants and Letting Agents frequently miss. It is therefore of benefit to all parties involved in the tenancy agreement and protects the Landlords interests as well as potential abuse of the tenant’s deposit.
Q: Does the Property Inventory have to be signed?
We highly recommend that it is signed by both the Inventory Clerk and the Tenant at Check-in. If there is no signed paperwork, then it can be thrown out by the dispute resolution arbitrators, and the deposit returned in full to the tenant. We know of many letting’s agents, who simply e-mail a copy across to the tenant and say that they have 7 days in which to raise any comments on the Property Inventory. The tenant still has 7 days in which to raise any comments upon signing the Inventory.
Q: Why can’t I do my own letting inventory?
The tenant’s deposit is held by the TDS. If a dispute occurs, the inventory report will not be considered legally biding unless it has been prepared independently. A landlord or letting agency will not be considered neutral.
Q: My property is unfurnished, do I still need an inventory?
Yes you do. Inventories are about the whole condition of the property, not just listing the contents. They itemize the condition of windows, floors, doors, door frames, locks, sanitary ware, make of boiler, cooker and gardens. A Schedule of Condition is included within the Inventory report which verifies the general state of the property and the level of cleanliness at the start of the tenancy.
Q: What is a Check In?
A Check In is conducted at the start of the tenancy, before the keys are handed to the tenant. It inspects the property and compares any differences between the current inventory and the condition of the property on the date of residence. It is therefore crucial that a detailed Check In report is conducted to avoid any disputes at a later date.
Q: What is a Mid-term inspection?
Once your tenants have been in situ for three months, we recommend that you find out how your property is being treated, and check to see if there are any maintenance issues which may need addressing. These can be added to the Mid-term report.
Q: What happens if I disagree with some comments in the report?
Our property inventories and reports are conducted by professional inventory clerks who are trained to record and assess the findings at the property. Their views are independent and unbiased. All clients have a right to query anything that is noted within the report. You must contact us within 2 days of receiving the report if you feel that anything has been omitted or unfairly detailed.
Q: How quickly will I get my report?
We will usually email your report as a pdf document within an agreed timeframe. If we are completing a check-out using a 3rd party inventory then the report time will be longer and our costs may be higher. The report will be emailed to the booker (this will usually be the agent or landlord). We cannot send this report to another party unless instructed in writing.
Q: What are your costs?
Our prices depend upon whether the property is furnished or unfurnished and the size of the property. Please contact us 0121 705 2244 for a quote.
Q: What does a lettings property inventory look like?
It can be a very long document, many are 80-100 pages long. Please ask us for a sample copy.
Q: Do you have a sample inventory report that I can see?
Of course, we are happy to show you our detailed inventories. Please complete our enquiry form and we’ll send you a sample pdf.