Our Lettings Manager, Tamara Price, offers her expert advice on the importance of your inventory.
Moving into your new home is an exciting time and you'll have plenty going on, but once you've got the keys, it's really important that you pay close attention to the inventory you'll be given and compare it to the condition of the property. This will help avoid any disputes over damages and cleaning when you eventually move out (which may not be at the forefront of your mind at the start of your tenancy, but it certainly will be when you're looking to receive your deposit back at the end... so be sure to get it right from the get-go).
We can't stress the importance of the inventory document enough. Essentially, it's the only thing we can rely on to decide on any deductions from your deposit when we do your check-out inspection, so it needs to be spot on.
When you collect your keys, you'll be provided with a copy of your property's inventory (sometimes known as a 'schedule of condition'). The inventory will detail everything included in the house and its condition. You'll be asked to sign a copy of it there and then, but you'll also be given your own copy which you can amend and return to us within 14 days. This will then supersede the original version. So if you notice any marks, scuffs or dents, be sure to note them down. The more detail the better!
Walk around each room and check each item against the inventory; making notes as you go. Too many times we hear tenants say “I didn't think that was substantial enough to note down when I moved in” when discussing damage at their check-out inspection, so don't hold back; there's no such thing as being too picky when it comes to annotating your inventory.
Is there anything else you can do to avoid any disputes arising over pre-existing damage when you move out?
Absolutely! In addition to completing your inventory accurately, we'd encourage you to take photos of the property when you move in and keep them for reference just in case. Make sure your photos are dated so they can be relied upon as evidence if needed.In our experience, the lack of a solid inventory is the biggest contributing factor to an end-of-tenancy bond dispute. We don't want you losing your money unfairly, but we need your input in ensuring we have the evidence to avoid this. In short, your inventory is certainly worth spending some time on!