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To sum it up in simple terms, an inventory is a detailed list using specific phrases to describe the features, items and condition of a property. Once produced it becomes a legal document and it is in the best interest of both the landlord and tenant that it is detailed (if it’s not on the inventory you can’t provide it) By having a through inventory, it is less likely there will be problems when the tenant leaves the property. But remember for the inventory to be valid both the landlord and the tenant should have agreed it and it should be signed by them or their representatives. The inventory should list everything doors, locks, handles, keys and how many keys, ceiling, lighting, lightshade, bulbs and if they are working, walls its general material and decoration if it has seven nail in it then the report should say so, grass on the lawn and if it’s cut or over grown. A four bedroomed house can have a report that is between 40 to 100 pages depending on contents and condition.
Is an individual trained to make a detailed written list of the content and condition of a property to be rented with photographic corroboration the report contents. Warning photographs or videos only will not be sufficient to prove your case should you have to go to tribunal. A professional inventory clerk not only makes and updates inventories, but they also conduct tenant check-in, interim inspections and tenants check-out. Apart from their initial training Inventory clerks, make inventories and review properties on a daily bases and over time become adept in using their working knowledge to fairly, accurately and impartially judge what constitutes fair wear and tear and what is damage. They are best able to compare the condition of a property at the beginning of a rental period and at the end and can if required notify each party of any condition of damage or maintenance and repair issues in a combined or spate report.
Mainly estate, letting agents and landlords but anyone involved in renting or letting a property would be wise to use an independent inventory clerk. If you are a tenant and your landlord has not provided you with an up to date inventory, how would you prove that the 23cm wine stain on the lounge carpet in the corner was there when you moved in? If you are a landlords how will you prove that there were no nails in the wall when you first let the property? If you are an agent how will you prove you have taken reasonable care to protect your client’s property? Solicitors, trust, housing associations, and even some councils use independent inventory clerks. Using an independent inventory clerk just makes good sense to them as it stops them getting caught in the middle of any potential disputes.
If you are an agent or landlord, hiring an inventory clerk can save you time and problems. The professional service means that you have peace of mind that you have a fair and accurate report and it is less likely to have important point missed off the report. It can also ensure that any disputes at the end of a tenancy do not get personal, and are resolved fairly. An issue of contention for landlords and tenants is what’s fair wear and tear and what is damage. An inventory clerk will consider factors including the quality of item, its condition at the beginning of the tenancy, if the property had been let to a single professional or family with young children, etc.
The truth is it depends on the part of the country you are in, the service you are commissioning and the property type, size, age and if it is furnished or unfurnished. I operate within a 30 radius of Camberley in Surrey, hence I cover Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Middlesex. Generally inventory clerks charge by the number of spaces/areas in the property.
At the time of writing, this article my average charge works out at £20.00 per hour. At A+ Inventories we believe that costs should be transparent and easy to understand so we have not only priced our services very competitively we have also posted them on our website for all to see. Our inventories start from as little as £56.
If you would like use our services or would like further help or advice then please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 07564 296784 – all enquires welcome.
I am also an advocate of The GOOD Landlords Campaign – please see my Member Profile.
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