An Inventory is a detailed (visual and written) report of the condition of a property. It includes all the information, contents, fittings and fixtures of a property at the time of the inspection. An inventory should be carried out by an unbiased party. The inventory is a binding agreement between the landlord and the tenant when the document is signed. The report is compiled before a tenant moves into a property, and acts as protection for all parties involved in the lettings process.
A detailed inventory has always been required, however with changes in legislation the spotlight is now firmly on the inventory, check in and check out process. Recent tenancy deposit scheme disputes have highlighted the need for a clear and concise inventory to protect the landlord and tenant. Many cases have resulted in a full return of the deposit as the landlord could not provide sufficient evidence to successfully pursue a claim.
The importance of a properly completed inventory cannot be underestimated. It must be robust and defensible if it is to be held up as a proper indicator of the facts and therefore viewed as acceptable by an adjudicator or court.