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The importance of an Inventory

Posted on 8 August 2019 by Sasha Loveridge

As of June 2019, tenancy deposits have been capped at no more than 5 week’s rent (where the annual rent is up to £50,000) under The Tenant Fees Act 2019. This is one of the measures implemented by the Government which is designed to make the private rental sector more affordable.

Recently, there have been concerns that as tenants will be committing less money at the beginning of a tenancy, tenants may take a more laid-back approach to the maintenance of rental property they are living in, leaving landlords with more damages and repairs to deal with when the tenants vacate the property. This could result in an increase in formal deposit disputes.

Assessing fair wear and tear to a rental property is not very clear and few landlords and tenants understand the process, which creates ambiguity and a dispute arises.

Alleged property damage, cleaning and redecoration are amongst the most common reasons for a dispute between landlords and tenants. To minimise the risk of a potential dispute, it is important that a detailed and accurate inventory, together with a Schedule of Condition is annexed to the tenancy agreement when the agreement is signed by both landlord and tenant. If the tenant agrees the inventory at this stage, it reduces the potential for a dispute to arise and will assist in sorting out the dispute. The burden of proof in such a dispute is on the landlord and so landlords should protect themselves by including an Inventory in the tenancy agreement.

An inventory/Schedule of Condition should be detailed, noting the decorative order and cleanliness of the property and note the condition of the contents of the property, fixtures and fittings (if any), with photographic evidence. Video evidence is also a good idea. For example, taking a video the day the tenants move into the property to evidence the condition of the property, furniture etc.

Our property experts here at Pardoes are able to draft tailored tenancy agreements for you, contact us today on 01935 382 680.

Posted in: Dispute Resolution, Landlord & Tenant/Housing