Landlord Inventories – top tips
Posted by markharrison on July 9, 2008
I’ve been sent a review copy of Toby Hone’s excellent ebook this week. (More about that in a few days, when I’ve finished my comments to him.)
I’ve made a couple of suggestions to Toby about adding to the section he writes on page 42 about the importance of decent inventories, so I thought I’d blog about this subject.
If possible, I always carry out check-in inventories myself. I’m afraid that I’ve yet to find an agency who carries them out to the level of detail I expect. I regularly get feedback from agents along the lines of “I’ve never seen an inventory that detailed.” There are two things I include that virtually no-one else does, but that have certainly been worth their weight in gold.
- If I include appliances, I include the make and model, as well as age. It is not unknown, alas, for an inventory to read “a fridge”, and find that the fridge returned at the END of the tenancy is smaller / older than the fridge provided
- If possible, take round a digital camera, and photograph the condition. This is, again, particularly important for any furniture / appliances you include, since it provides proof (once the tenant has signed the inventory) of what was left.
Obviously, none of this removes the fact that you CAN’T claim against a tenant for “reasonable wear and tear”, but this isn’t about protecting yourself from good tenants (the vast majority) – it’s about protecting yourself from bad!
For the record, in 14 years, I’ve only ever made a deposit deduction twice, and one of those was made by an agency I used on a full management basis from the days before I learnt to manage my own properties.
[Declaration – if you buy the ebook as a result of clicking the link above, I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. Our policy is always to declare commission/affiliate links, but only to recommend products based on personal experience.]