Thinking about this subject takes us actually to the time before the inventory takes place.
Usually the case is such that previous tenants are moving out.
Once you accept or give your tenants notice, it turns out to be quite important to kindly guide them in reviewing their Check In inventory along with the Tenancy agreement.
The incumbents get reminded of what condition the property needs to be in at the time they vacate. Thus you may sort out many of the potential delays and complications getting your property ready for the next incomers.
Sometimes tenants forget that it is their responsibility to ensure the end of tenancy clean before they hand back the keys. With regards to this, every inventory has tenants notes on check out. When reviewed, the occupants can appoint all areas of concern to the cleaners they employ.
Further from here, reading through the initial inventory helps to predict whether there may be any deposit deductions suggested.
Cleaning and renovations. It is vital to arrange for your inventory after all works are completed and property is just waiting for its new inhabitants.
Should any delays on renovations and cleans arise it is best to reschedule the inventory appointment.
This way you avoid the clerk either being unable to perform the inspection – which results in call out charges, or you will end up with a report highlighting all that has been not done yet and obscuring clerk’s work.
Similarly, if your new tenants already moved in, unpacked etc. it will be very hard to estimate the level of cleanliness. What more, there will be number of areas which won’t be inspected due the circumstances. Consequently, the report is loosing on its value.
Now. Being well organised and having done a good quality inventory is one thing, having supporting papers for it another. When it comes to compensation charges things are not so straightforward. There are multiple variables considered in order to conclude a reasonable deduction cost:
- State & age of the item at the beginning of the tenancy
- Price & quality of the item (for shelf life query the manufacturer)
- Length & character of the tenancy
- Character & use of the item (e.g. fresh paint in the bedroom will be expected to stay in good condition for longer than a paint in the hallway)
Letting a property is a business as any other so having your books in good order will help in case you need to count any deductions or go into a dispute.
Keeping and recording receipts of items you provide for your tenants should be simply part of the business you are running.
Furthermore, as cleaning issues seem to be one of the main reasons tenants and landlords end up in a dispute the best way to support your case is having receipts of purchased services in place too.
Tenancy agreements vary slightly but they should clearly state the expectations towards the tenants as well as their responsibilities.
Although proud and involved with your asset, it is important to manage your expectations with regards to the tenants. Understanding different aspects of wear and tear in a let property helps you map your ground.