Carrying out a property inventory is a must at the start of any tenancy, especially since the introduction the tenancy deposit scheme. There are a number of other reasons why a property inventory is so important.

A property inventoryis a catalogue of a property’s contents and condition of those items. An inventory is only effective it is accurate. Therefore, an inventory needs to be structured, methodical and detailed where relevant.

How to prepare a property inventory

The inventory needs to be prepared in such a way that it can be easily remembered and duplicated for multiple inventories. This will allow for consistent results and a seamless process.  Your inventory should have the following key components:

  • Organised – anyone reading the inventory for the first time should be able to navigate the inventory, by having a list of contents etc.
  • Comprehensive – relevant detail needs to be in the report, as this will be the document of reference if a dispute arises.
  • Verifiable – the listings on the report need to be accurate and easily agreed by anyone viewing it.
  • Easy to read – for everyone’s benefit the inventory needs to be easy to understand. Should a case go to court, this will help avoid incidences of tenants claiming they did not know what they were signing. There are a number of other common deposit disputes.

To help produce an inventory of the above key components, a property should be divided into a series of rooms. This should be straight forward as most homes will have a lounge, kitchen, bedroom etc. Although, other areas of the property will have to be categorised, such as landings, staircases, hallways etc. Once you have detailed a list of these rooms you need to breakdown the different categories in these rooms, as follows:

  • Appliances
  • Ceiling
  • Doors
  • Floor
  • Furnishings
  • Light fittings
  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Woodwork
  • Gardens, balconies and terraces.

Once these items have been noted, the clerk will need to complete a schedule of condition. This will record the overall condition of the property which includes the cleaning standard of the property and the flooring cleaning standard.

Finally the clerk will take all accessible meters (electric, gas, water, heat & oil) and note down any keys handled.

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