How to Create an Inventory for Your Rental Property
If you’re a new landlord, one of the more time-consuming jobs you need to do is create an inventory for your property and get the tenant to sign it. This document basically puts down in writing as well as sometimes using images to define the state of your flat or house before the tenant actually moves in.
It’s also known as a schedule of condition and can be used to resolve any problems or issues when the tenancy comes to an end. For example, if damage to a certain area has been caused by the tenant, you may want to recoup the cost of repairs from the deposit. The inventory acts as your main evidence.
Making a Property Inventory
If you don’t have the time, there are several options you can use here such as employing a letting agent to do create an inventory for you or hiring a property inventory specialist. It’s relatively simple to do yourself, however, and many landlords choose to go down this road.
One important point: Even if you are letting the property unfurnished, you need to have an inventory.
1. Go Through The Whole Property
The first step is to go through the entire flat or house, from room to room and list accurately what is in it. You can take photos of particular areas to provide further proof of condition if you think this may help. If there are existing issues, for example, a stain on the carpet, this needs to be listed and a photo can be useful.
Don’t forget to include any garden or outside areas that are part of the property. You also need to note down accurate readings for utilities such as gas and electricity.
For each item on the inventory, you need to include an entry for the fixture or fitting, it’s condition on entry and an extra column for condition on exit.
For example, in the living room, you will have light fittings, plug sockets, walls, a door, windows, perhaps a carpet, some curtains and a bookcase. Check out this example from Bradford Council.
Included in the inventory you may want to add explanatory information about what the purpose of the inventory is and legal information such as what the tenant’s rights are.
2. Checking the Inventory with the Tenant
The next important step is to go through the property again with the tenant. You need to walk through all the listing and make sure that the tenant agrees. They may want to add information onto the listing, especially if you have missed something out. This is essential as it makes sure that everyone is on the same page and the record is accurate.
You should not fall into the trap of thinking this stage is not important, even if the tenant is eager to sign the document unseen and move their stuff in.
Both the tenant and the landlord get a signed copy of the inventory to keep for their records. When the tenancy comes to an end, this same document will be used to once again go through the property to ensure that there are no additional costs for repairs or replacement needed.
Hiring a Letting Agent
It’s important to get the documentation right for your rental property and the team at Graham & Co are here to help. If you are looking for a letting agent serving the Andover and Whitchurch area, contact us today to find out how we can help.