30 June 2018

Why landlords need to take a property inventory


It is frustrating for landlords to cover loss or damage made to their property by tenants. Stains on carpets, scuffs on floors, doors snapped from hinges and the disappearance of furnishings are common inventory issues. However, when returning a tenant’s deposit, it is not a simple task to deduct the fee required from the sum. The landlord must prove to the tenant and a court that loss or damage has been suffered. This also protects a tenant from paying for damage that has already been made before they moved in and ensures that landlords do not fail to notice damage caused by former tenants.

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Sufficient damage to property vs wear and tear

Sufficient damage is defined as damage that is inflicted unfairly, rather than fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear is inflicted by natural forces or reasonable use of the property.

Wear and tear, however. can be a contentious area and highly subjective. However, by commissioning a detailed property inventory you can ensure the appropriate wear and tear standards are clearly defined.

For property inventory software, contact a company such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/.

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Tenancy deposit schemes and disputes

Any tenancy secured after April 2007 is subject to the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) by law. Under this initiative, landlords must place a tenant’s deposit into an insurance or custodial scheme operated by an independent organisation.

Discrepancies can arise from disputes surrounding the return of deposits, often due to property damage issues. A detailed property inventory should be produced in this case, which can prove exactly which damage was caused during the tenancy, based on the property’s condition prior to tenants moving in.

A property inventory document is legally binding, and provides in-depth accurate reviews of the contents and conditions of the premises at the start of the tenancy. It is no longer enough to simply list the array of items contained within the property, nor is it adequate to describe where a crack or scratch is.

The property inventory is a vital factor of the tenancy agreement between the tenant and landlord, and therefore, all defects must be faithfully noted and detailed within the inventory. This is to ensure that in the event of harm caused to the property, the landlord can prove that the tenant is responsible, which subsequently led to repair, cleaning or refurbishment costs.