LANDLORDS NOTICE BOARD

Inventories are essential

Landlords should never underestimate the importance of an inventory, as a recent court case between tenants and a letting agency proved.

The court case was bought by a group of student who believed they were unfairly deducted over £700 from their initial deposit - a sum reportedly used to repaint and clean the house share. There was no inventory at check in and a lack of receipts to substantiate maintenance works that, when under scrutiny, proved the letting agents' undoing in court.

The full property repaint that the letting agent claimed was necessary turned out to be a small patch applied to cover some mould - discovered and photographed by the students when they asked the new tenants for a look inside the house. The students also provided further photographic evidence in court proving they actually left the property in a better state than when they had moved in.

An inventory is an essential item of lettings paperwork that protects both the landlord and the tenant. At Robinson Jackson Lettings we used an independent, professional third party to compile inventories at the start of every tenancy. During this process, detailed notes are made and photographs taken of the property about to be let, documenting the condition of fixtures, fittings, the building's fabric and any furnishings.

Upon completion, the inventory is signed by the tenant so everyone verifies the state of repair inside the rental at the point the tenant moves in. The next time most people mention an inventory again is at check out, when a letting agent or independent clerk will inspect the condition of a property, using the inventory to compare the 'before and after' condition. The inventory is invaluable evidence to validate any claims that a tenant has damaged a property or its contents. The 'before' photographs will show if any stains, scratches, dents or rubbish were present at the start of the tenancy. If a landlord wants to withhold some or all of the deposit to clean and repair their property, an inventory is the only way to substantiate such actions. A lack of inventory and hard evidence could leave a landlord severely out of pocket, especially if a deposit recovery dispute goes to court.

Robinson Jackson Lettings can't stress enough that a thorough, independently compiled inventory reduces the chances of a deposit dispute and can provide peace of mind for both landlords and tenants. Ask us about our inventory service today.