When renting out a house or apartment, the property inventory is as important as the deposit. However, many landlords are unsure of how to check and agree the inventory with their tenant. Here we’ll look at the best-practice approach.

Creating a Property Inventory

First of all, if you’re not a property rental expert with experience of the legal side of renting, you’ll need expert advice or good property invoice software. This will help you create a legal and watertight inventory to agree with your future tenant.

The inventory should cover a wide range of topics such as the condition of the walls, ceiling and floor, carpets and curtains, paintwork, fittings such as kitchen and bathroom cupboards and windows and doors. If the house is furnished, it should also cover furniture and appliances.

You’ll need to walk through the property, taking photos of the condition of all these elements. Property inventory software products such as those at inventorybase.com will then arrange these images into a document which can agreed to with the tenant.

Agreeing on the Condition of the Property

Once a tenancy is agreed on verbally and before the contract is signed, the property inventory will need to be approved. This usually consists of the landlord or their agent and the future tenant walking around the property together and agreeing, point by point, on the observations.

The great thing about software compared to a printed document is that it allows for real-time adjustments. If the tenant questions a remark, this can be changed upon agreement.

Things to Consider in the Agreement

Many smaller details are often forgotten in the inventory, which can have a big impact on the check-out. While reasonable wear and tear is always permissible, a whole wall of cracked bathroom tiles is a sign that the property has been ill-used. However, if the state of the bathroom isn’t documented in photographs, the landlord has very little chance of being able to deduct the refurbishment cost from the deposit.

Signing Off

Once you and the tenant are happy with the inventory, it’s time to sign off on the agreement. Some software allows you to do this digitally, but always make a printed document to back up the agreement. And don’t forget to give a copy to your new tenant.