When renting out a property it is vital to organise a proper property inventory. This is useful so that both the tenant and the owner know exactly what is included in the property and its condition. Read on for tips on how to agree a suitable inventory.

What is an inventory?

The inventory can be useful for settling any disputes at the end of the lease regarding the return of deposits. An inventory needs to include some basic information such as condition of ceilings, floor and walls, paintwork, carpets and curtains, furniture and appliances, fittings, windows and doors. The property condition should be listed so both owner and tenant agree how it was when the tenant moved in.

Protection for tenant and owner

A proper inventory protects both the owner and the tenant and makes sure both parties agree before the lease starts. It protects the owner against damage to the property by the tenant after they move in and it also protects the tenant from being falsely accused of damaging a property that was already damaged and having their deposit withheld.

The inventory should declare any smoke detectors and ensure they are working. It should also list meter readings. The inventory can be amended to reflect new items or details, damages, items that are not functioning or incorrect meter readings. All these changes can be signed and agreed to by both parties.

Take photos for records

Photos should be taken of any cracks, damage, or scratches not recorded in the inventory so you have a record of the exact condition of items and property fixtures. It can be useful to use property inventory software, such as inventorybase, to record the items and property condition. This can then be checked easily and quickly by both tenant and owner. The software can also let you record videos for accurate images of the property.

It is always important to have a proper tenancy agreement drawn up. This BBC article for the business section of their website has more tips for tenants when renting, and for homeowners on managing a property and dealing with inventory issues.

By having a suitable inventory listing all the fixtures and fittings and condition of the property, owners can feel more comfortable renting their home and tenants can feel their deposit is better protected.

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