EPC’s Buxton www.epcsbuxton.co.uk
A quick guide and FAQ to landlord inventories. Please scroll down to see our rates.
Who needs one?
Every landlord should have an inventory prepared by an independent third party for each property with a check-in and check-out report.
Why do I need one?
An inventory outlines what items are in the property, and more importantly what condition they are in so that, in the event of a dispute with a tenant, you can compare the condition of the items with the check-in and check-out report at the end of a tenancy to ensure there are no discrepancies. This can affect whether a tenant gets their full deposit back or not and proves whether any damage has occurred during the tenancy.
The property is unfurnished - do I still need an inventory ?
Yes, because the inventory will also point out the condition of the walls, curtains, carpets, bathroom, kitchen appliances, heating appliances, garden and the property as it stands.
Don't think that if your property is unfurnished you will not need an inventory because there is still a lot that can be broken or damaged. Bear in mind newly decorated walls and woodwork or kitchen unit doors and handles for example. What if a tenant damaged them or painted them a gaudy colour and left them in that state when they moved out? You deduct an amount from the tenants' deposit to put it right and the tenant then disputes this, possibly taking you to court. Now you have to prove to a judge that you had an inventory prepared by an independent third party and that the state of the property had been recorded prior to the tenant moving in to the property. If you can't prove the condition one way or the other, the judge may well side with the tenant. You will then have to give the money back, pay your costs as well and for the tenant. Not only that you have to pay for the repairs to the property!
Every rental property should have an inventory prepared by an independent third party to ensure complete impartiality. We will go through your property with a fine tooth comb and note everything, taking photographic evidence. If you prepare an inventory yourself and the tenant disagrees with the inventory he /she may refuse to sign it. You need a signature on the inventory to prove that it is valid. A tenant is unlikely to disagree with an independent inventory they are dealing with a professional person.
A judge will not look favourably upon an inventory prepared by a landlord, because they will see it as an amateur attempt to fulfil a duty. Judges are notoriously favourable toward tenants and they will tend to find in their favour unless there is absolute solid evidence pointing the other way.
There are three vital documents that a landlord should have for each property:
· A main inventory
· A check-in report
· A check-out report
Making the inventory will normally only happen once, though we suggest a new one every 5 years with any new items or changes to the property recorded as required. The main inventory is then used for all check ins and check outs with any deviations noted.