What is a property inventory?

A property inventory is the inspection of a property and its contents and condition. Here is a detailed look at exactly what a property inventory is, why it is important, and how it works. 

How does the inventory work?

A property inventory is usually carried out by an inventory clerk and results in a report that accompanies tenancy agreements. Carried out at the start of a tenancy to confirm and examine the condition and contents of a property, the report is a reference document to be used at the end of the tenancy agreement.

What does the inventory look at?

The contents and condition of the property and its fixtures and fittings are noted on the report, so aspects such as cracks in tiles and stains on carpets should all be noted, along with details of meter readings, keys, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Property inventories are in-depth documents, but they can differ in format, structure and the exact level of detail. Reports usually include a Schedule of Condition, which is a description of the overall condition of the property. Simple tick-box inventory forms can indicate damage, cleanliness, and working order of the property and its fixtures and fittings without accompanying descriptions. More comprehensive reports can include photographs of fixtures and fittings and detailed descriptions of items and conditions. For any landlord wondering if it is worth carrying out a property inventory, or any agent asking “why would I use property inventory software?”, using property inventory software means it is straightforward to select the appropriate format to establish the necessary level of detail required. 

What is the purpose and is it worth it?

Essentially, the inventory report comes in to play at the end of the tenancy if there is any disagreement over the condition in which the tenant has left the property or the fixtures and fittings. Since 2007, all security deposits must be protected in a security deposit or insurance scheme that provides a third-party adjudicator should a disagreement arise. The property inventory report serves both parties in the tenancy to reduce or resolve end-of-tenancy disputes. 

In conclusion, the property inventory is a crucial part of the tenancy process and documentation. It does not necessarily need to be difficult to carry out, and the benefits for both parties are clear.