Why do you need an Inventory?
In an ideal world your tenant will leave the property as clean and tidy as at the start of their tenancy. All furniture and items will be undamaged and left where they were placed without any additional items left 'for the next tenant' or rubbish that 'they didnt have time to remove'. The deposit release will be straight forward and the property will be ready for your new tenants.
But what if it isnt?
Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme in Northern Ireland on 1st April 2013 it has become a requirement for all Landlords to protect the tenants deposit and then to ‘prove their case’ if there are to be any deductions made from a Tenant’s deposit.
All tenancy deposits must be registered with a government-approved scheme and tenants can dispute any deductions from their deposit if they believe a claim to be unfair or unjustified. All deposit schemes will require evidence of the property’s condition at the start and end of the tenancy to be able to compare for adjudication.
The legislation is designed to protect Tenants and under the terms of the scheme, adjudicators will review all relevant documents, including Inventory reports/check-out reports, before the dispute resolution service or the courts decide how to divide deposit liabilities between Landlords and Tenants.
For Landlords, whether you let out a single property or you have a large portfolio, it is important to safeguard your investment. To enable a successful claim you must be able to prove damages or breakages that have occurred during a Tenancy.
The most effective way to do this and to avoid a potential dispute is to have your Tenants agree on the specific condition of your property and its contents before they begin occupancy. This can be achieved by having an independent professionally prepared Inventory Services report drawn up and then signed by your Tenants once they have checked the details at move in. By doing this you will be sending a clear signal to your Tenants that they will be held fully responsible for all damage, necessary cleaning, repairs and renewal costs other than acceptable fair wear and tear. At the end of the tenancy a check out report will record compare and photograph any changes that have occurred during the tenancy noting cleanliness condition, damages, additional items and missing items etc.,
When you consider the costs involved with both the purchase and maintenance of a property, plus the time and money spent on the presentation, most professional Landlords agree that a comprehensive Inventory/check-out reports are an essential tool in successful property management.
Without an inventory and check-out report landlords have little chance of claiming successfully from the deposit.
Be Smart Be Prepared