Inventory prevents invention

It is surprising how often Landlords and Tenants alike, avoid having an inventory prepared to save a few pounds, despite the fact that there is a significant sum at stake in the event of a dispute.  The changes in 2007, to the way assured shorthold tenancy deposits are dealt with and their subsequent return is intended to avoid landlord’s inventing claims and the inventory is a key part of this protection.

The inventory once signed by both parties forms part of the Tenancy Agreement and is simply a record of the content and condition of the property, on the day the tenancy starts.  The inclusion of photographic evidence of condition will further strengthen the value of the report.

When considering whether there is a valid claim against the deposit when the tenancy ends, both Landlord and Tenant should be aware that the property does not have to be returned in exactly the same condition in which it was taken.

Consideration must be given to “fair wear and tear’, the interpretation of which will vary, depending upon the
type of tenant and the length of occupation. For example, a couple with a child who have been in occupation of a two
bedroom house for a year will inevitably impact more on a property than a single individual in the same house for the same period.

To establish the condition of the property beyond simple wear and tear, Tenants are strongly advised to take the time to check the inventory room by room.  

An inventory can only properly protect both parties, if it is dealt with thoroughly and with a critical eye at the start of
the tenancy.

The inventory is essential!   It will ensure a secure basis for any landlord claim and will also ensure that tenant’s are not held responsible for inappropriate charges.