What is the difference between an inventory and check-in report, and do I need both?
An inventory is a detailed description of your property and all of its fixtures and fittings, room by room. It can be used for several tenancies provided that there haven’t been any significant changes to the property during that time.
The check-in report records the condition of the property on the day the tenants move in, working off of the inventory. It will therefore note and any small differences in the property aside from the main inventory, such as for example any light bulbs now not working or areas which are not clean. Most importantly, the check-in will record the meter readings for the day the tenants take occupancy, along with the keys they are given, and whether or not the smoke detectors are working on a sound test.
Therefore you do need both, but you won’t necessarily need a whole new inventory for every tenancy. We are happy to do check-ins using other companies’ inventories if necessary, and we also offer a discounted combined price if you instruct us to complete a whole inventory and check-in on the same day.
Can’t I just do the check-in myself?
The deposit schemes (www.tenancydepositscheme.com, www.depositprotection.com, and www.mydeposits.co.uk) like to see reports which are conducted by an impartial party, and the National Landlords Association also recommends it (www.landlords.org.uk). By viewing their sites and case studies you will see that they do not look as favourably upon reports which are conducted by the landlord as they could potentially be biased. By using an independent party, you ensure that there can be no arguments at the end of the tenancy as to how the property was handed over to the tenants.
Further, our reports are logged online which can be viewed 24 hours a day by either party, and any notes which are made online are logged according to date and time – so it can never be said later that notes were made immediately upon check-in if they were actually only added months after!
What about the check-out?
The check-out is conducted after the tenants have fully vacated and removed all of their belongings; our clerks then come in and check the property against the check-in report and note any discrepancies, ensuring that they take plenty of photographs to accompany the wording.
Similarly to the check-in, it is not a legal requirement to have one but should you as a landlord end up with a deposit dispute or need to take your tenants to the small claims court, then the burden of proof will be on you as the claimant to prove your case and if you do not have impartial reports such as these to prove the condition at either end of the tenancy, then you may struggle.
Of course do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all, we will be happy to assist.