Property inventories can be controversial subjects. Coming at the end of an admin-heavy process, landlords could be forgiven for not wanting to bother engaging in a to-and-fro process with tenants, arguing about the state of minor details in the property.
But as the legislation around renting out a property tightens, inventories are no longer just about whether the sofa had one cushion or two: they are there to protect landlords against fines or possible criminal prosecution. Here’s why it’s worth taking the time to complete a detailed inventory of any property before you put it on the market.
Your inventory can and should be used as evidence of your legal compliance
It’s illegal to let any property without a working smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and all electrical appliances must be certified – listing and supplying photographic evidence of all of these issues being in order on your inventory could protect you in case of any incident.
Claims made under landlords’ insurance policies require physical evidence
Ensuring that your inventory is clear, detailed and supplemented by multiple supporting photographs will save a great deal of headaches down the line.
The taxman likes inventories
The government abolished the wear and tear allowance in 2016, meaning that any claims against your tax bill can only be for the replacement cost of broken goods. Making sure you’ve got a rigorous and detailed inventory – with all photos date stamped – is the best way to ensure that any claims stand up to HMRC scrutiny. Without proper evidence, landlords may find their claims disputed and their self-assessment in jeopardy.
Detailed inventories help ensure your tenants leave properties in good condition
And, because an inventory protects both landlords and tenants against spurious claims, putting a proper inventory into place at the start of a tenancy should build trust between landlord and tenant and get their working relationship off to a good start. Remember, inventories should be updated whenever a tenancy is renewed or whenever new goods are added to the property. For more information about property inventory lists and what to include in them, why not download Fixflo’s free Property Inventory Checklist?