This is an essential part of the paperwork involved in letting a property. Without a well drawn up and comprehensive inventory you will find it very difficult to prove that the tenant caused you loss or damage and should forfeit all or part of the deposit.

The inventory is intended to record the condition of the building and any contents you are leaving for the tenants to use. It is normally drawn up on the first day of the tenancy or perhaps a day or two beforehand. The tenant should check it carefully and both parties should sign it and ideally initial each page. The tenant will be given a copy to keep. It applies from the day the tenancy begins which is why it is normally drawn up on the morning that the tenant moves in. If it was prepared earlier it is possible that damage will have occurred in the meantime so it should be double-checked.

The inventory needs to go into great detail about any damage to thinks like furniture, wallpaper, kitchen units, curtains and carpets.

It is good practice for the property and its contents to be checked regularly throughout the tenancy- every three months is normal. The tenant should be given reasonable notice of these inspections. On the last day of the tenancy the property should be carefully inspected and compared with the inventory and any discrepancies noted.

If you are using agents they will be able to arrange the inventory for you. If not there are specialist independent inventory clerks who will help you and a search on the internet should find a local one.
 

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