A beginner’s guide to the property inventory

What’s in an inventory you ask? Everything! At the start of your tenancy, you’ll be given a list of items that are in the property and their condition will be detailed so that both you and your landlord have this to refer to during your agreement.

Is it a big deal?

It may not seem like a big deal but when you’re handed this, it’s important that you go through the list an item at a time and check if what you’re reading matches what you can see in front of you. For example, if white goods are included in the rental agreement and beside them on the list it says they’re in good working order yet upon inspection you can see that the fridge light isn’t working or that a handle is missing then the inventory is incorrect and you should flag this up with your landlord or property manager.

Homelet has a good guide available and talks about the importance of a detailed and correct inventory so that you can ensure you get your deposit back at the end of your agreement. The more thorough you are, the less room there is for dispute.

Working through

Usually, your inventory will be marked room by room so you can check one room at a time. You’ll be looking at carpets, flooring, furniture, walls and the outside of the property. You’ll need to look out for stains, cracks and any other issues. If something isn’t listed and you think it should be, don’t be afraid to add it to the list, you have every right to amend it. It’s also best to take pictures for your own records making sure they’re date stamped.

There are ways to simplify this and property inventory software is one of them. Documents are created digitally, the software compares the initial check in inventory to the final inspection or the checkout inventory. Alerts then pop up when the system recognises something is different. This can prove beneficial to both a tenant and a landlord. An example of this type of software can be found here: https://inventorybase.co.uk/.

So now you know what’s in an inventory and the importance of that document to all parties, it also worth noting that if you’re unsure of anything, you can ask the letting agent or landlord.

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