At Austin D’arcy we expect our landlords to provide a professional inventory, which the tenants are checked into the property against so that any subsequent updates or amendments throughout the term of the tenancy can be logged, and the report will be used to ascertain anything that the tenant is obliged to pay for (usually from their security deposit) at the end of the tenancy term. We, therefore, strongly advise you to employ the services of one of our recommended Inventory Clerks, to arrange a make of inventory and schedule of condition and ‘check in’ at the outset of the tenancy, along with a ‘check out’ at the end.
If you do not have an unbiased, comprehensive document prepared by a qualified Inventory Clerk, checked and agreed by the tenant at the outset of the tenancy, and the tenant does not agree with the deductions you require at the end of the tenancy, you may be UNABLE to prove your case to the Independent Case Examiner appointed by the Deposit Scheme you have chosen to use, and therefore will be UNABLE to withhold money from the tenant’s deposit. Please Note: If you are including brand new or expensive fixtures and fittings in the property please ensure that you attach to the inventory the proof of purchase, in the form of a sales receipt, and, where possible, the manufacturer guidelines.
Why can’t I prepare the inventory myself?
The simple answer is that you can. It is just advisable to use a trained and qualified inventory clerk who knows exactly what is required for the document to be useful in the case of a dispute. If you have the time to study inventory preparation and are confident that your reports will be comprehensive and sufficient for the purpose, then Austin D’arcy is happy to accept such documentation. If in doubt please speak to one of our staff.
What is a schedule of condition and why do I need one?
The schedule of condition explains whether the property has been recently decorated, whether it has been professionally cleaned (and usually an invoice for works is attached) or domestically cleaned, whether the carpets have been vacuumed or professionally shampooed, if there is any lime-scale build-up, if the windows are clean (inside and out), if the upholstery has been dry-cleaned (with receipts) etc. At the end of the tenancy, you will only be able to expect the tenant to leave the property in the same way they found it, so the more information you have documented at the outset of the tenancy, the better.
What if I do not want to provide an Inventory and Schedule of Condition?
The tenancy can still proceed, but your tenant may take this as a sign that you are not really bothered about the condition of the property and, of course, you are unlikely to be able to make deductions from the deposit at the end of the tenancy, unless the tenant is in agreement. If you do not have an extensive record of the property and its condition from the start of the tenancy you will not have evidence to back up any deductions you wish to make. It makes the deposit pretty worthless.
Eg. If you pay £250 for an inventory make, schedule and check-in / out reports and when the tenant vacates the property it is not clean, the carpets are stained, items are damaged, walls require decorating, you can make all appropriate deductions to bring the property back to the same standard as at the outset of the tenancy (less fair wear and tear). However without the correct inventory documentation, if the tenant does not agree to the deposit deductions you will have no evidence to provide to the Independent Case Examiner and you could find yourself footing the bill for a lot more than £250.