A beginner’s guide to checking and agreeing an inventory

An accurate inventory is very important to help to prevent disputes over deposits in the future, but what is an inventory and how do you agree one? Read on to find out!

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Inventories explained

Whether they are prepared by a professional property inventory clerk or a first-time landlord, an inventory is a record of what is in a property and the condition of it, both at the start of a tenancy and at the end.

At the beginning of a tenancy, your landlord should draw up the inventory for you recording the condition of the property. Another inventory should be done when you move out.

An inventory should prove the state of a property at the start of a tenancy and help to avoid deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy.

It is not a legal necessity to have an inventory, but it can really pay to have one, whether you are a landlord or a tenant. If you or your tenant or landlord want an inventory and one isn’t provided, you could take a look at using a professional inventory clerk to get one drawn up. You can find out more about this on sites such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/blog/what-does-an-inventory-clerk-do-and-should-i-hire-one/.

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Check and then sign

Both the landlord and the tenant should check the inventory carefully before signing it. The document should offer an overview of the property plus the condition of such things as the floor, walls, ceilings, paintwork, curtains, carpets and any appliances and furniture that come with the property.

The inventory should also say if carbon monoxide and smoke alarms have been provided and are in working order and may contain meter readings.

Do not sign an inventory that you disagree with. Instead, you can amend items and only sign when you are happy with the accuracy.

You can also choose to take photos of anything appropriate that has not been recorded in your inventory. This could include scratches, marks or cracks. You can read more about rental regulations at https://www.gov.uk/housing-local-and-community/rented-housing-sector.

Record repairs

Keep a record of any repairs that you have carried out, whether this is arranged by you or your landlord or tenant. You should also record any instances where things are broken and not repaired and if this has had any effect on you.