A property inventory report is essential for helping to prevent disputes with tenants, and ensuring that your rental property is in the same condition (less fair, wear and tear) at the end of a tenancy.

Since the launch of mandatory deposit protection schemes, schedule of condition reports and inventory management have become vital documentation, in addition to the tenancy agreement, which is required at the beginning of the tenancy.

For a landlord; an inventory is one of the most important documents in the tenancy process and one that all landlords should look have on record. Especially if the tenant wishes to have pets Make sure you have a detailed inventory prior to check in to compare the property to when the tenant leaves. Damage caused by pets is not usually considered ‘fair wear and tear’ 

What is a property inventory?

Essentially, it is a list of all the components, contents and detailed description of the condition of all items in the home that are being rented.

What should an inventory include?

A property inventory should include any furnished items as well as descriptions of the condition of the property’s bathrooms, kitchen, doors, windows, walls and fixtures and fittings. A detailed record of the items in the property, the inventory should contain supporting evidence in the form of digital photographs and or video.

How does an inventory protect the landlord and tenant?

In combination with the checkout report, a schedule of condition and inventory report provides the landlord with the evidence needed to prove the exact condition and contents of the home when the tenants moved in. Without these documents, the landlord may struggle to prove that theft or damage has occurred, and is unlikely to make a legitimate and or successful claim against the deposit when (or if) the case is sent to an adjudicator.

Key mistakes when compiling a report

It is a common misconception that producing a property inventory is simple, and only needs a basic list of the contents and condition of the property documented. 

Reports are often:

  • Too basic
  • Lack detail with inadequate descriptions and condition comments
  • Based on opinion rather than fact 
  • Often fail to list all the rooms/property components 
  • Lack photographic or video evidence to highlight cleaning issues, damage and maintenance issues
  • Don’t include a cleanliness schedule (schedule of condition)
  • Fail to provide the report to the tenant for comments/signature

inventory and schedule must contain photographs or video evidence with detailed descriptions, which can often exceed 40 pages in length. Though the aim here isn’t how many pages a report can produce; it’s about the quality of the information that will make all the difference if disputed by either the landlord or the new tenant.

The document should also aim to stand up in a court of law should the landlord be required to claim funds from the tenant’s deposit for repairs that exceed the deposit amount or unpaid rent.

EwartPark’s Inventories

At EwartPark we provide professional cloud-based property reporting and 360° virtual tour software – allowing for market leading paperless management of inventories, check-ins, interim visits, comparative check-outs and easy to use 360° virtual tours.

  • Creating audit-trailed reports with optional 360° photos (eg inventories, check-ins, interim visits & check-outs).
  • Serve audit-trailed documents (eg safety certificates, fire evacuation procedures, welcome information and more).
  • Manage maintenance portfolios (eg tenants flag issues during move-in, or identify team locate them during inspections).
  • Use image recognition AI to scan utility reading photos and auto populate readings.
  • Create 360° Virtual Tours
  • Paperless environmental friendly cloud-based document.

How We support the landlord?

Landlords can save a great deal of hassle and time through EwartParks Inventory’s and Interim visit service

Our Agents not only conduct thorough and professional inventory reports, they can also offer advice and expertise. By having reports conducted by a professional , it adds to the evidence bundle and is an invaluable resource should there be a dispute during course of the tenancy.

My property is clean and tidy; do I really need an inventory?

Even if your property is unfurnished, in good decoration, clean and tidy or contains what you consider to be low-value fittings or fixtures, an inventory report is vital. 

For example, if the property walls are in ‘good condition’, are painted in a magnolia shade throughout at the start of the tenancy and have no issues, without a thorough inventory report, a landlord will struggle to prove any deterioration like heavy marks, holes or poor redecoration should the tenant fail to maintain the property. 

A thorough and professionally produced, detailed and accurate property inventory report can help to limit costs, decrease the likelihood of deposit disputes as well as providing clear guidance and understanding so tenants know what is expected of them when it comes to maintaining the property throughout the tenancy.

An accurate inventory which is agreed by the tenant and drawn up by the landlord or letting agent is crucial in helping to ensure a smooth tenancy. It should save both the landlord and tenant a great deal of worry and stress and promote harmony in their relationship.  

If you’re a landlord and want to find out more about inventories and letting out your property , contact us or discover more about our property letting services.