The importance of having an inventory

26th June, 2018

Property inventories are crucial for both landlords and tenants. They help you to stay organised and protect yourself against false claims.

Our CEO Michelle Niziol provides answers for the most common questions we receive about inventories in The Oxford Times 

What is an inventory?
An inventory or condition schedule is a list of everything that is included inside the tenancy, as well as the condition of it. In a furnished home, it should detail the condition of all furniture as well as the home itself and white goods. An unfurnished home will detail the same (save for the furniture). Have a physical list that can be checked at any time: it’s not enough to simply have a ‘good idea’ of what things look like in your head. Be sure to take photographs, they are helpful when the condition of an item comes into question.

Why should I have an inventory?
An inventory offers an honest look at the conditions of the property, and prevents any wrongfully-placed blame when it is time to vacate the property.

How is an inventory prepared?
The landlord, letting agent, or an inventory clerk will conduct an inventory at the start of the tenancy. The tenant will then inspect and sign the inventory.

When should an inventory be checked?
Check the inventory at the beginning and end of the tenancy at the very minimum. We recommend that landlords and tenants regularly check the inventory to report any existing issues (normally every 2-3 months).

What should I do if something is damaged?
This situation is exactly why it is so important to have an inventory. As you’ve already determined the condition of everything within the property and recorded photo evidence, discrepancies are highly unlikely. Simply deduct the cost of repairs from the tenant’s deposit. Should the tenant dispute your claim, the scheme holding the deposit will have a system in place to resolve the issue.

We use an inventory clerk to carry out the inventory at the start and end of the tenancy. Experienced inventory clerks provide a valuable third-party opinion should there be disagreements between the tenant and the landlord. We recommend that landlords use an agent that can offer this service.