The Property Inventory & Schedule of Condition

Property Inventories & Schedules of Condition are reports that accurately describe the contents, condition, and cleanliness of a rental property.

What is a Property Inventory & Schedule of Condition?

A Property Inventory and Schedule of Condition is a single document that may form part of a tenancy agreement. It records the contents, condition, and cleanliness of the property, with a detailed listing of the items within the property including the decor and fittings. 

A Property Inventory and Schedule of Condition is a single document that may form part of a tenancy agreement. It records the contents, condition, and cleanliness of the property, with a detailed listing of the items within the property including the decor and fittings. 

A detailed Property Inventory and Schedule of Condition should be made prior to the commencement of any tenancy regardless of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.

As a landlord why do I need one?

The issue of the return of the deposit at the end of tenancies is one of the major sources of conflict between landlords and their tenants.  When it comes to returning your tenant’s deposit if you don’t have a detailed Property Inventory and Schedule of Condition you could find it extremely difficult to justify any deductions you want to make from the deposit.

On 6th April 2007, the government introduced the Tenancy Deposit Protection in England & Wales, with Tenancy Deposit Schemes which are designed to improve methods of handling a tenant’s deposit money and promote the use of inventories. Landlords have to clearly demonstrate where a tenant has caused damage or loss to the property if they are to be successful in retaining money from the deposit. For detailed information visit the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) website – click here

What goes into a Property Inventory and Schedule of Condition?

Each area of the property will be clearly detailed and we follow a consistent method of notation when we describe items and their condition so that it can be easily understood by all parties involved.

Many landlords have made the mistake, when creating DIY Inventories and Schedules of Condition, of just listing the ‘movable’ contents of a property (such as sofas, fridges, etc.), without detailing the condition of these items and their appearance.

What could go wrong with a DIY Inventory?

Writing down the contents of a two-bedroom property could easily be done on one side of paper, but if you do not consider the ‘fabric’ of the property you could find that your Inventory and Schedule of Condition is not detailed enough to prove that your tenants have caused damage.  For example, if in your Inventory and Schedule of Condition there is a pair of hanging curtains, you should also state:

  1. the colour;
  2. whether they are lined or not;
  3. what fabric they are made of;
  4. whether they are hung with hooks or a form of tab top;
  5. the age of the curtains (if known);
  6. if there are any marks or nicks in them and if so how many and where they appear.

You can see from the list above how easy it would be to miss an important piece of evidence about the detail of those curtains.  It would be easy for a tenant who had damaged a pair of lush velvet curtains to claim they could replace them with cheap cotton unlined curtains.

This may seem a lot but our clients value this level of detail because if a tenant causes damage to any one of these parts they will want to be able to prove the condition when the tenant moved in so that they can demonstrate the tenant(s) are liable for any costs of repair or replacements, at check-out.

4 Inventories complete the set

A properly prepared and comprehensive property inventory sets the scene for what is provided by the landlord at the start of the tenancy.
The check-in inventory is more than a tick-list, it's where each item is checked against the property inventory and the tenant's agreement is recorded.
Forewarned is forearmed is said to mean that if you know about something before it happens, you can be prepared for it.
Accurate check-out inventory reports record the changes and any dilapidation that has occurred in the property during the tenancy.