The importance of a good inventory
The importance of a detailed inventory must not be under-estimated, by compiling a comprehensive and clear inventory and schedule of condition at the start of every tenancy you minimise the risk of disputes with tenants over the return of deposits at the end of the tenancy. It is best practice for a detailed inventory to be carried out at the start of the tenancy.
If tenants are aware that the state and contents of the property has been itemised, they are more likely to ensure that the property is left in the same condition in which it was originally let. Inventories are particularly important now that tenancy deposit schemes are in place across the UK as they form critical evidence in cases of disputes. At check-in, the inventory should detail the current state of the property, including descriptions, age and condition of the fixtures, fittings and furnishings. This helps landlords and letting agents compare the state of the property at check-in and at check-out.
Make sure the inventory is written in clear language, and defines the terms used to report the condition or cleanliness of items in the property. It must be clear enough for a third party to understand without them being present. If an inventory is not carried out, or if it was insufficiently detailed, then it may not be clear how the property should be left before departure, which could lead to a deposit dispute and usually results in the landlord not being compensated for any damages or loss caused by the tenant.