Do you need an inventory for an unfurnished rental property?

September 10, 2016

It can be a common misconception among landlords that an inventory is not really necessary if they are letting out an unfurnished property. After all, there’s nothing in it, right? Wrong! The most expensive damage that can be done to a property is to the building itself, carpets, kitchens, bathrooms and any white goods that are usually included such as machine cooker, fridge etc. At Northwood, we believe that an inventory along with photographs is just as important for an unfurnished property as it is a furnished one.

A detailed inventory, also called a ‘schedule of condition’, not only lists items within the property and their condition, it also states the condition of things like carpets, curtains and kitchen and bathroom fittings. Ideally, an inventory should include colour photos as these provide incontrovertible proof as to the condition of the property, both at the beginning and end of a tenancy. Any damage that has been caused by the tenant, such as holes in walls or doors, stains or damage to carpets, and even lack of cleanliness will be much easier to prove with ‘before and after’ photographs.

Some landlords may see having a professional inventory with photos as an unnecessary expense for an unfurnished property. With the average cost of an inventory for a 2-bedroom furnished property sitting at around £70, this is far more affordable than the hundreds of pounds worth of damage that could potentially be caused by a tenant. Without a detailed inventory including photographic evidence, a landlord may find themselves with no choice but to cover these costs themselves.

If there is any dispute at the end of a tenancy between landlord and tenant, which needs the assistance of a tenancy deposit protection schemes dispute resolution service, the inventory along with photographic evidence will help resolve the situation fairly and quickly. The time and relatively small cost involved in having an inventory done, is a wise investment when considering the potential costs a landlord could face by not having one.

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

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