Piccolo Property Services outlines the importance of the Inventory & Schedule of Condition
Landlords continue to ask “Why do I need an inventory? The property is unfurnished – there is nothing in it”. The Inventory & Schedule of Condition is an essential document which details not only the fixtures and fittings, but describes their condition and that of the property generally. The inventory provides a written benchmark at the start of the tenancy which should be agreed by both the landlord (or agent) and the tenant.
The following areas are normally covered by the Inventory and detailed comments are shown beside each description:
- Interior condition and decorative order, plus the fixtures and fittings including doors, windows, curtains/blinds, ceilings, walls, carpets etc.
- Furniture and other contents, excluding items which the Inventory Clerk considers as expendable, such as magazines, living plants etc.
- Gardens are described in layman’s terms only. Garden statues, sheds, outbuildings etc will be described as deemed appropriate.
- Lofts, cellars and similar areas are not normally covered.
Since April 2007, all deposits taken for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The scheme is designed to encourage landlords and tenants to make a clear agreement at the start of the tenancy on the contents and condition of the property.
The dilapidations deposit belongs to the tenant and continues to do so until such time as the landlord becomes entitled to make reasonable deductions from it. If there is a dispute at the end of a tenancy, the onus is on the landlord to provide the evidence that loss or damage has occurred.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme regulations are quite clear. Should there be a dispute at the end of the tenancy over dilapidations, the Tenancy Agreement, Inventory & Schedule of Condition together with the check in and check out paperwork is required before any adjudication can be made. Failure to supply these documents usually leads to the landlord not receiving the full amount claimed.