Renting Property Guide - The Importance of an Inventory

publication date: Jun 21, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Renting Property Guide - The Importance of an Inventory

If you are renting a property, the inventory is one of the most important documents – next to your rental agreement. It is the best way to avoid arguments between tenants and landlords about what was or wasn’t in a rented property.

It also means that the condition of the property is clear, especially with regards to whether any damage is ‘wear and tear’ and therefore not charged to you the tenant, or damage which you may be responsible for.

Ideally, an inventory should be done by an independent inventory professional from a lettings agent or directly from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC). As if there are any queries (by you the tenant or the landlord) as they have an independent dispute service.

Inventory reports can be as long as fifty pages.  They are very detailed and record everything, both inside and outside the property.  Often they include photographs and even notes about the exact position of chipped paint, mould in the bathroom and scratches on a microwave oven.

As a tenant:-

  • Avoid landlords who refuse to have an inventory done.
  • Go round with the inventory clerk or thoroughly check the completed report.
  • Initial any changes, copy the sheets and follow up any queries before moving in.
  • Make sure that an inventory is done both at the start and end of each tenancy
  • Before you leave ask your landlord to sort queries out quickly so you can get your deposit back without delay.
Inventories are done at the start of the tenancy (check in) and the end of a tenancy (check out). Sometimes the landlord and tenant share the cost, but some agents ask the landlord to pay for both inventories – and this can save you around £100!

DIY property inventories require you to be very thorough and accurate. They are better than nothing, but preparing an inventory is a long and complicated task. It’s made harder if you don’t know the things to look out for which may cause later disputes.  However, if you believe that you are up to the task you can purchase an inventory pack and get started!

Are you a first time renter or need help with your tenancy agreement or inventory? Then contact us at or tel 0845 838 1763 for independent answers.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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