There is one sensation that is familiar to both private landlords and tenants, and that is that sense of feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to the vast amount of paperwork that is part and parcel of a property rental.
The tenancy agreement is obviously an essential, but then there are the referencing documents and the papers relating to the deposit, all of which can run to multiple pages. The thought of a property inventory on top of all that can seem just too much to worry about. Little wonder that it is often something that is either ignored or, at best, flicked through, signed and then filed away and forgotten about. That’s a dangerous path to go down, however, whether you are the owner or the tenant.
The property inventory is more than just a list of what’s at the property. It also clarifies and confirms the condition of both the house or flat itself and the things that are in it, and ensures both parties are in agreement from the outset. Ideally, the inventory should be written on or immediately prior to the date the new tenant moves in, and should be part of a general landlord’s inspection.
Nothing is more overwhelming than a blank sheet of paper, but be methodical, and the inventory will soon come together. Begin the process at the front door, and simply work your way gradually from room to room. Take a note of both the content and the condition. Here are thing you will need to include, whether you are the one creating the inventory or the new tenant checking it:
When a property is let either fully or part furnished, there will be plenty more to add in terms of furniture, pictures, equipment and whatever else is there. Essentially, the point for a landlord to keep in mind is if it’s not on the inventory, there’s nothing you can say if it’s not there at the end of the tenancy. For a few pieces of crockery, that’s no problem, but if it’s a garden shed, that’s another matter!
It might sound tongue in cheek, but the shed is a good example. Landlords often forget outside, so check the garden, too. TV aerials, garden equipment and even plants and shrubs should be included if you want to make sure they are still there when the tenant leaves.
The inventory is there to protect everyone, so it is imperative that the tenant reads it carefully, goes through it, raises any discrepancies and signs it off. Moving in is a busy time for everyone, but don’t leave it, make sure the inventory is dealt with on moving in day and no later. That way, the landlord / tenant relationship will start on the right foot.
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