Frequently Asked Questions:
My Property is unfurnished do I need an Inventory?
Yes you do! Today’s inventories are not just about listing knives and forks. The Document is a “Schedule of Condition” and itemises everything in the property, from Walls, Floors through to doors and door fittings. We do still count and list knives and forks as well!
What is an Inventory?
The Inventory is a detailed list of Fixtures, Appliances, Furniture, Linens/Curtains and Fittings inside the property for the Tenancy.
This includes details of the decor, (colours of paintwork, woodwork, flooring, make up of Windows) appliances, (including brand, model and serial numbers) furniture, crockery, kitchen items, linens.
Why do I need an inventory?
The creation of Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes are for the benefit of tenants and as such deposit disputes are often resolved in favour of the tenant. In the majority this is due to the landlord or his agent having insufficient evidence as to the damage that has been caused.
Why do I need an INDEPENDENT inventory?
An independent inventory is the ultimate way to avoid timely deposit disputes. A tenant is less likely to contest any deductions, and where this does occur an independent inventory provides the vital proof required by the Courts.
What is a Schedule of Condition?
The Schedule of Condition is a normally at the back of the Inventory, and it gives an over view of the General Condition of the Property, including the meter readings and what keys have been given to the Tenants. It also has information on the cleanliness of the property. This is the page that the Tenants are required to Sign.
What is a Check-In?
The Inventory Clerk will meet you at the property either with a Completed Inventory Report if time allows or with the Schedule of Condition completed. The Clerk will walk you round the Property going through the report with you and highlighting areas that have been noted in the report.
Are Photographs Included in the Report?
Each Room should have an over view picture. The Inventory Clerk will include additional images to back up the description in the report. This is of no extra cost.
Are the meter readings included on the Inventory document?
Meter readings are recorded. It is recommended that Landlords inform Agents of any difficult to locate meters.
The ultimate responsibility for reading of the meters rests with the Tenant/Landlord. In the event the meters cannot be found on the day of the Inspection this will be recorded on the Report and the Tenant/Landlord should contact the relevant utility company to arrange for readings to be taken.
What is fair wear & tear?
Fair wear & tear is generally considered to be a measure of the natural wear and decline of decor, fixtures and furnishing etc. based upon normal day to day use. Various factors need to be taken into consideration:
- The General overall condition of the Property at the beginning of the Tenancy
- The Quality of the fixtures, fittings and furniture
- The length of the Tenancy
- Number of Occupants
What is a Check-Out? What Happens? Do I need to be there?
- Normally the Check-Out Inspection takes place on the final day of the Tenancy or on a date as close as possible to the last day of the Tenancy. (Where practicable)
- At the time of the Check-Out Inspection the Tenant should have completed removing all personal items and all cleaning should be completed.
- At the conclusion of the Check-Out Inspection the Tenant should return all keys belonging to the property and leave the flat for the last time. The Inventory Clerk will return the keys to the relevant Agent or any other third party as instructed.
- At the Check-Out Inspection the original Inventory & Schedule of Condition will be checked in full. Any differences and missing items are recorded and the main issues highlighted to the Tenant. Photographs of any damages and general photographs are also taken at this time.
- It is not necessary for the Landlord or the Tenant to attend the Check-Out Inspection, although if a Tenant is in attendance it does allow them to provide answers to any queries e.g. if items cannot be found or damages are noted.
- At the end of the Check-Out Inspection the meters are read, the keys counted and checked and the Tenants forwarding address recorded. A handwritten schedule is also completed highlighting the main points.
- The Check-Out Report is then typed up and returned to the Landlord/Agent/Tenant normally within 24/48 hours. At this point the Tenant/Landlord/Agent will discuss the Report with a view to reaching an agreement on the return of the Tenants deposit with any possible deductions highlighted.
- If resolution cannot be reached between the Tenant and Landlord, Lancashire Property Services would be happy to mediate between the parties. It is always better to reach a satisfactory settlement without the involvement of the Authorities!
- Normally the Inventory Clerk that checked the Tenants into the property will be the person checking them out. The Inventory Clerk will be writing the report as “seen” in his/her opinion.
Do you check Mattresses? How can I prevent damage to a mattress?
We do check mattresses on both sides wherever possible, and note down marks or patches seen. We would also take a photograph and include that in the report. We also note whether we can locate a Fire Safety Label.
The best advice for Tenants regarding mattresses is to put a Mattress Protector Cover on at all times! If you are a Landlord and you are buying a new bed for a property at the same time buy a Mattress Protector Cover.
Can I clean the property myself?
Don’t! If the property was handed over to you as having been professionally cleaned then it is advisable to hand the property back having been professionally cleaned. An inventory clerk can tell the difference between a good domestic clean and a professional clean. Ultimately if the cleanliness is marked down it will be the tenant’s responsibility to pay for a professional clean.
Always try to use the same company that did the ingoing clean and also get a receipt.