Being a landlord is a time-consuming business, and one that can be quite stressful. As with any walk of life, it makes sense to get things done the right way, first time, every time, to ensure an efficient and positive relationship with your tenants. That’s why we’re bringing you some tips on the perfect inventory. The Basics Some landlords don’t use inventories. However, getting your tenants moved into your property requires knowledge, by both parties, of what state the property is in, and how it should be expected to have changed when the tenancy is over. For this reason, an inventory is essential to both parties having legal security. The quality of the inventory will have an impact on the quality of the tenancy and the quality of the property at the end of the tenancy. Inventories are the foundation for many landlord/tenant disputes, and to prepare one for the property will save you any sleepless nights should the property return damaged, over-worn or have serious electrical or plumbing issues. The perfect inventory should be arranged by you or the letting agent, and will include the following: An Input From The Letting Agent If you use an agent, it makes sense to keep them involved in all aspects of your tenancies. You may wish to let your agent take care of the inventory entirely, which can be arranged if you are on a Fully Managed service. Contact your agent if you would like them to organise an inventory for you. An Inventory Clerk These people are independent, professional, and experienced. They will ensure that the property is accounted for, top to bottom, in a level of detail that will cover all bases in any eventuality. This is the best way to guarantee a water-tight inventory. Photographs Words aren’t as exact as images. If there is an issue over a stained wall or scratched sink, a photo taken of the item before a tenancy begins will clear up many disputes immediately. There are two sides to this deal. Landlords will know what the tenant has damaged at the end of the tenancy, and tenants will know when a landlord is trying to charge them for damage they didn’t cause. As long as both parties are trustworthy and responsible, photographic evidence in an inventory will be readily accepted, so beware anyone who refuses. Unfurnished properties Just because the tenant is using their own belongings, that doesn’t mean the nuts and bolts of the property aren’t subject to an inventory. Walls, kitchenware and white goods all fall within the confines of an inventory, especially if they show signs of age or wear. Promises, Agreements And Signatures That’s right. An inventory will include the tenant’s legal responsibility to present the property in the same condition it was left in on the day they moved in – including hoovered floors, kitchen surfaces and all crockery accounted for. The landlord will have the right to withhold part or all of the tenant’s deposit if they fail to meet the criteria set out for the property and its upkeep. Meter Readings, Keys And Wall Colours This is to ensure that the tenant hasn’t decorated without permission, lost keys, created new ones or used abnormal levels of gas and water during their time in the property. The inventory is an essential part of protecting your asset, and also communicating to your tenants that you are a professional landlord. If you require help with preparing a great inventory, or are interested in upgrading to a Fully Managed service, please contact your local Ellis & Co office today.