If you are about to let a property one of the most important documents you should arrange (and arrange well) is a Property Inventory Form.
Because a property inventory form is a landlord’s defence against loss or damage to their rental property. In fairness, it also gives peace of mind to tenants too. So there is a clear win-win in having a mutually agreed property inventory in place.
An inventory of your property, though, is only as good as the time and effort you put into creating it. So here are some dos and don’ts from Gough Quarters on how to put a good one together.
Allocate a decent amount of time to record and draw up the inventory. A rushed job will likely be of little use in a dispute.
Give a clear structure to your inventory. Divide the property into the individual rooms and then go through each room logically: i.e. doors, windows, curtains, carpets etc.
Assume photos and video are an easy or reliable solution to inventories. Each photo/video would have to be of high quality (lighting, resolution etc) to be relied upon and be verified by both landlord and tenant as being accurate. No small task when detailing even a modest property.
Word your descriptions in plain, specific, unambiguous language. For instance, “Wooden table –No scratches to surface. Two legs have minor dents.” Not “Rustic table – good condition.”
Forget to ensure the inventory is thorough enough to be able to identify the actual possessions/furnishings and not just the condition of them. Tenants have been known to swap furnishings for their own to make the place ‘feel like home’. So perhaps for curtains include the brand and colour as well as the condition.
Scribble the inventory on a scrap of paper. Type it up and present it professionally.
Make sure that both you and your tenant sign, date and agree to the accuracy of the property inventory. It will be worthless without everyone’s signed confirmation.
Consider using an ARLA approved lettings agent to produce the inventory form for you as part of their management service. That way you have the assurance that you are getting a professional and expertly put together document that will protect you from any mis-haps.
We hope you find these tips useful. If you would like further information about producing an inventory or any of the other aspects of renting a property please do not hesitate to call Gough Quarters on 0117 329 0039.