This is the summary guidance notes on our property inventory template. Our inventory template can be used for any residential property that is to be let, whether furnished or unfurnished.
We have suggested you use an enhanced inventory by adding to it a photographic schedule of condition, as we feel this will be of great practical use to a landlord should there be a need for a claim to be made against the deposit holding scheme.
Using Our Template
This is a step often skipped by landlords and tenants – however an inventory can prevent a lot of disputes between tenants and landlords, so it’s extremely useful.
Even if the property is let as unfurnished, there are fixtures and fittings, such as carpets and fitted appliances, that ought to be noted (including their condition), as well as the state of the décor.
As a minimum the Inventory is a listing of the contents of a property, but it is also an opportunity for you to record the condition of the property itself (a photographic “schedule of condition“), both inside and out.
The inventory form is designed to help monitor the condition of the property/items before a tenant moves in and just before a tenant leaves, so it can be made clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for out of the deposit.
It can be good evidence if you need to apply for payment from the deposit holding scheme. A photographic schedule of condition will assist you greatly in this regard, as otherwise the deposit holding schemes can be tough to deal with.
Take sufficient photographs to cover everything.
The inventory template is an ideal accompaniment to our tenancy agreement template agreement.
Completing the inventory
The tenant and the landlord (or its agent) should sign the declaration at the check-in. The tenant should be given opportunity to check the inventory before they sign it.
The tenant should be given a photocopy of the inventory. The landlord should keep the original – this should be used again for the check-out, to see if anything has been damaged by the tenant.
Be accurate about the cleanliness of the property. This is probably the most common area for disputes to occur. However, as cleaning standards are subjective, you should agree with the tenant that the property is clean and tidy and note this on the declaration sheet.
Keep receipts for professional cleaning, e.g. for the property generally or for carpet cleaning. You will need them as evidence if you have to make a claim from the deposit holding scheme.
The condition of any garden or other outdoor areas should be described. Include paths, patios, statues, garden furniture, tools etc. The tenancy agreement should state if the tenant is responsible for maintaining the garden. Tree surgery would normally be considered a maintenance issue and not the tenant’s responsibility.
In the detailed part, use a new page for each room.
Describe the type and condition of fixed items in the room, e.g. décor:
List the furniture and in each case try to note its colour, make, model and condition, e.g. dark teak G Plan drop-leaf table in fair condition, 4 light wood Ikea chairs with brown fabric seats in good condition. You are advised to have valuations for valuable or antique items and keep purchase receipts.
For pictures and ornaments, give condition and approximate sizes, as it can make it easier to find them if moved, and to agree compensation if damaged.
Descriptions of condition should be realistic. Items should not be listed as in ‘new’ condition unless only just purchased – if nearly new the date purchased can be noted. Take into account wear and tear. All décor and contents will deteriorate over time.
If there are sheds or garages, their condition and contents should be listed.
Try to describe items so that they can be easily identified by other people should you be unable to carry out the check-out yourself. When assessing damages it is more important to know if a table is wood veneer or solid oak than that it is from Ikea.
Don’t leave any item of sentimental value in the property. Ornaments and pictures are also best removed.
If you permit the tenant to alter the property, e.g. to put up picture hooks or shelves, you should only do so in writing, making it clear they must reinstate the property when the tenancy ends.
With the inventory, keep a file of such notes and receipts for any items bought, professional cleaning, servicing or repairs paid for. Should there be a later dispute, this file will be needed to prove your case to the deposit holding agency.
At check-out, where changes are noted in the condition of the property or its contents, it should be detailed whether or not these can be construed as acceptable wear and tear.
A forwarding address for the tenant should always be confirmed (preferably at the check-in) and contact numbers secured.
As a landlord you may find our full range of residential property agreements useful.