First and foremost, it’s extremely important to remember that an inventory is there to protect the interests of both the landlords and tenants, assisting in minimising the risk of a dispute at the end of the tenancy. Therefore it’s paramount and beneficial to provide hard evidence to support a claim made by either party.
Digital photographs are provided to support the inventory, underpinning the detail within the report and all digital photographs should be fully embedded into the report to form a comprehensive supporting inventory at the start of the tenancy. digital photographs should never be used without a detailed inventory, often landlords believe sufficient evidence is a number of digital photographs as backup and evidence, unfortunately this will ensure you are not protected if a dispute ever arises.
All our reports are provided with digital photographs of the whole property, every photograph we take at the property is embedded within every report. We will also include photographs of meters, keys and of appliance models and serial numbers (where possible).
Our reports assist in providing landlords and agents visual and written information about the condition of a property, in which case enables them to make an informed decision on maintenance and cleaning services, this is ever so important for managing agents and landlords who do not regularly visit a property.
We have put together a list of pros and cons of digital photographs:
The advantages of photographs are that they can:
- provide an excellent overview of a property;
- show the condition of a garden;
- highlight any unusual items e.g. ornaments, antiques; and
- record marks, scratches, damage, although this can be difficult to do well.
The disadvantages of photographs are that:
- it is not possible to photograph every aspect of a property, so photographs are unlikely to be a substitute for the written word;
- photographs are not always a helpful indicator of issues such as cleanliness, dirt or dust. If not photographed properly, it can be difficult to show scale or perspective; and
- digital photographs can easily be altered and there may be concerns over their reliability.
To be considered useful as evidence, photographs should be of a good quality and are best embedded into the check-in/check-out report. If there is ever a dispute, an adjudicator will want to be satisfied that the photographs are of the property in question, and when they were taken. Photographs are most useful as supplementary evidence when used to provide a ‘before and after’ comparison of for instance a garden or to show the extent of damage to a floor covering, item of furniture or kitchen worktop.