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How To Compile a Property Rental Inventory

A detailed letting inventory is an extremely important document that will benefit both Landlord and Tenant; however it is more likely to be an aid to the landlord. Taking an inventory of property both at the beginning and the end of a tenancy would show the exact condition of the property rental should there ever be a dispute between the tenant and landlord. Although having an accurate and detailed property inventory is vital, it does not have to be burdensome.

Take a walk through your rental property and/or rental properties, and write down a detailed description of everything you come across, both interior and exterior, from fixtures, flooring, appliances, furniture (if applicable), the walls, windows and everything in between.  Once you’ve put together a complete comprehensive list, this list will act as your Property Inventory checklist that can be used with each tenant and at each rental property.

Now you have a tool that will enable you to report a before and after snapshot for each tenancy agreement.

At the beginning of the tenancy agreement you’ll do a walk through with your tenant taking precise notes of each item and condition of all letting inventory on your checklist.  Let the tenant make notes and point out obvious marks or flaws on the doorways, scrapes on the walls or missing fixtures.  This document, compared to the one you’ll also make as the tenant exits the tenancy will be helpful should there be a dispute at the end of tenancy.

At the conclusion of the tenancy agreement is when you as Landlord will want to take notes of any damage, missing items and obvious misuse of the unit.   The property rental Inventory will serve as a comparison for the general overall cleanliness, state of repair and condition of the rental property prior to and at the end of tenancy agreement.  You will also be able to use this tool for making note of utility meter readings (if applicable) should you require payment for used utilities.

For long term rental agreements you might also want to include an interim report.  As with any item, there’s a wear and tear element that must be considered and should not be construed as negligent.  All things will eventually wear out, break down or just generally need to be updated.  If you look at all aspects of the condition of the building, and the way in which your tenant has kept up with the normal every day maintenance, you will no doubt get a true feel for what has been misused and what has just come to the end of its usefulness.

Keeping your property inventory accurate and up to date will save you a great deal of time and headaches in the long run.

Both parties will have to agree with the reports and once everyone is in agreement, the document should be signed.  As this signed property rental inventory has now become a legal document, it can be used when deciding if a security deposit is eligible for return or could be entered as evidence in a court proceeding if it ever became necessary.




June 2024
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