The rise of the Inventory Service

The rise of the Inventory Service

How hiring someone for check-ins and check outs can help landlords protect their assets

Despite all the political upheavals of the past year, investing in property is still one of the safest things you can do with your money, and more and more people are getting involved in the lucrative rental market.  Assetgrove says, “This is fantastic if you want a fast return on your money and people are always looking for houses, it’s essential that you make sure you’re protected from problem tenants and property damage.” There’s only one way to do this, and that’s a- thorough inventory.

Recent rental property legislation has meant that a proper inventory is now an invaluable piece of documentation for both landlords and tenants, but it’s also a time consuming job which requires a high level of expertise to do it properly. M&M Property, Newington Green estate agent explains why taking a short cut is a bad financial move- “It’s tempting to do a quick job and cover the basics if you’re busy managing other aspects of your life, but this could come back to bite you later on if you’re not careful. It’s always wise to spend a little extra on a decent property check in service to avoid costly court fees further down the line.”

Why an inventory is essential

The introduction of Tenancy Deposit Schemes in 2007 shifted the emphasis on landlords having to prove their entitlement to make a claim against a tenant. This means that even though you know damage has been caused or the property has been allowed to run into disrepair, you’ll have to have compelling evidence of what it was like before the tenant moved in.

A good property inventory company uses a combination of knowledge, experience and cutting edge technology to deliver meticulous reports in plain English with no jargon. A decent inventory should be a few pages long, covering areas like:

  • Meter readings
  • Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide tests
  • Full itemisation and schedule of all fixtures, fittings and furniture
  • Digital photographs
  • Full description of condition of walls, ceilings, flooring, paintwork, lighting, woodwork etc

Many also take care of the whole tenancy relationship too, undertaking check ins and check outs and dealing with any enquiries. This allows property investors to get on with other important things safe in the knowledge that their investment is in good hands.

What to look for when choosing an inventory service:

Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates explains, “A good inventory service should really be available round the clock, but 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday is the next best thing. This allows flexibility for both parties, especially if tenants are working (which is a pre-requisite for most tenancy agreements). You should look for agents who are experienced and certified to AIIC standards, and it’s also wise to see DBS documentation for added piece of mind.”

Inventories are then undertaken at the beginning and then end of any tenancy for total transparency for both parties. Both landlord and tenant are given a copy, which should also include all photographs.

Whether you choose to go it alone or hire someone else to do the inventory for you, it’s absolutely essential that it’s clear, thorough, backed up by photographic evidence and signed by both parties.

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