This week I undertook my first inventories, going solo, following our training over the last few months. If you are of the mind-set of a good friend of mine who commented ‘what, you’re being trained to count knives and forks?’, then let me tell you the benefits to you as either a landlord or tenant are huge. Basically put, the point of an inventory is to evidence the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy and at the end. This means as a landlord, you have the proof to claim compensation for any damages at the end of the tenancy and as a tenant you have the proof to prevent illegitimate charges. The job is not about counting items, nor is it about testing all appliances so that they work, it is about scheduling the condition and providing an account accurate enough to be able to distinguish ‘fair wear and tear’ from ‘damage’ and obtaining the relevant compensation for that.
5 things I learnt about inventories this week
1. Professionally clean properties make life so much easier when it comes to an inventory, check in and check out. Landlords, pay out at the start of the tenancy and the tenants will then have to upkeep that standard going forward, so you will always have a professionally clean property to rent out.
2. ‘I can domestically clean to a professional standard’… No you can’t. Don’t do it. Tenants or Landlords, nobody ever has the same standard of ‘domestic clean’ whereas you can re-call the professional cleaners until the standard is perfect, because there is a level to work against.
3. Instruction manuals should be available for every appliance and will be marked on the inventory, if they are not then tenants will more than likely make unnecessary call-outs for contractors to maintain or repair items because they do not know how to do it. As a landlord you will foot the bill unless you can prove that the tenants had the manuals at hand and the problem could easily have been resolved.
4. Meeting a tenant on the day they move into their new home really is great, particularly the excitement when we hand over their ‘move in bag’ with all of their essential moving day items!
5. Do not do 5 hours worth of inventories in 3 inch heels. It’s not big or clever.