A property inventory report is typically created for a property before a new tenant moves in. It captures key information about the condition of the property and is provided to the tenant alongside an assured shorthold tenancy document.
State of repair
The most obvious category to include in the report is information on the general state of the property, with pictures of each room and extra pictures where needed to show wear and tear.
Fixtures and fittings
Any furniture, white goods, carpets, curtains etc should be pictured clearly. Photos can be easily stored in property inventory software, which is commonly used by inventory clerks to make the inventory process faster and easier.
Capturing information about the utility supplies to the property is invaluable. A new tenant will need to know which companies supply the property and provide initial meter readings to take over the billing for the supplies. If a property has been empty for a while, the landlord will need to know the meter readings to use to pay their bills. If a tenant has just moved out, the agent, landlord and previous tenant need the meter reading to ensure the previous tenant pays everything they owe. If there is a gas supply to the property, the landlord gas safety certificate can also be kept with the inventory.
How the report is created
Traditionally, an inventory clerk would visit the property armed with a camera and a long paper form and manually write a description of the property, adding pictures once they were developed. Thankfully, property inventory software has made the process much faster and more convenient. Today, an inventory clerk only needs to take a smartphone with them to take pictures of the property, any wear and tear, fixtures, fittings and meter readings. These can be loaded straight into the software.
Why is the report so useful?
A good property inventory report is vital to make sure the landlord and tenant have an agreed baseline for the condition of the property, fixtures and fittings, and meter readings. This makes it much easier to resolve any disputes that arise over liability for repairs, damage or bills and helps the agent or landlord by offering the necessary proof to claim against a tenant’s deposit.