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Inventory for Landlords – What It Is and Why It’s Important? (+Template)
- Fantastic Team
- Published: October 22, 2020
- 6min read
- Views: 17
Rental inventory checklists can be a real nightmare sometimes. Unless you’re working with an agency or you’ve been in the letting business for many years, it’s probably overwhelming to create one that will serve its purpose with every property. It’s difficult to say what exactly to put there and how to format it since every property is different.
But fear not! In this article, you will learn everything you need and, to make things even better, we’ve actually included a free inventory template for landlords you can use at any time, no matter the property!
So, if you:
Then keep on reading, because this is the post for you!
You might be asking yourself “What is an inventory anyway?”. In short, it’s a report that documents the state of the property before a tenancy begins.
The longer answer is: a tenancy inventory is an in-depth document, signed by both the landlord and the tenant, that clearly states what furniture, fixtures, etc. are present in the property at the start of the tenancy, how many items there are, and what their condition is.
It is usually a form, accompanied by photos, that the landlord can refer to at the end of the tenancy to determine whether there are any damages that the tenant is responsible for. If any damages are present, then the landlord can demand payment and, if the tenant refuses, can pursue legal action, as he has documented proof.
Basically, a property inventory is an incentive for the tenants to keep their rental home in good condition so that they don’t have to cough up a large sum of money at the end.
So, we now know what an inventory is, but…
Well, imagine if you inspect your property after a tenant leaves and you find that they have wrecked the whole place. There are burns on the carpet, the oven doesn’t work, some bannisters are broken, you find a gaping hole in the wall, it’s an overall mess.
Naturally, as a landlord, you can resort to keeping their deposit and, if the damages are severe, even seek reimbursement. However, you’ll find this extremely difficult to achieve if the tenant disputes your claim and you have no way of backing it up. Any adjudicator will require evidence that supports your claims and if you can’t present it, the odds aren’t likely to be in your favour.
An inventory for landlords aims to do just that – minimise (or entirely eliminate) disputes and provide concrete evidence of the property’s initial state should a dispute arise.
While it might not yet be a legal requirement for a landlord to provide a tenancy inventory, it’s in everyone’s best interest to perform one so that you can avoid awkward situations once you decide to part ways.
It doesn’t matter if your property is furnished or not, it’s in your best interest to prepare an inventory report in all cases. Furniture is not the only thing that can be damaged in a home.
So, you still need to include the same things in a tenancy inventory for an unfurnished property as you would for a furnished one, you just won’t have any actual furniture to worry about.
Now that you know more about the purpose of an inventory report, let’s go over…
So, what is supposed to go into a landlord inventory anyway?
Well, anything that might become the object of a dispute later on. So, if you’re letting a furnished property, you should note down what furniture you’re providing, how many pieces there are, and what their condition is.
The same goes for any cookware and dinnerware – write down the exact number of items so that you know if anything goes missing. You also need to note the decorative state of the home – carpets, painted walls, floors, fixtures, cracks, anything really. The more detailed the rental inventory is, the better.
Here is a more detailed list of what you need to include in an inventory for landlords:
Well, the best way to perform a rental property inventory is to hire a professional inventory clerk. The experts know exactly what they need to include and how to document it, so you can be sure that nothing will end up missing from the report.
However, if you want to go the DIY route, here’s how you can handle the task:
So there you have it! Make things easier for both yourself and your tenants and always prepare a rental property inventory report to avoid any disputes and arguments at the end.
As we mentioned above, the best course of action is to hire a professional inventory clerk to ensure the job is done right.
That’s why Fantastic Services offers an inventory report service you can rely on. The experienced clerks we work with will make sure they include everything and that they overlook nothing.
Protect yourself and your tenants from disputes – book your inventory survey today!
Find an experienced clerk to handle it for you!
Was this post helpful to you? Do you have any experience with landlord inventories? Let us know down in the comments!
Image source: Shutterstock / paulaphoto