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spare
14-12-2011, 21:08 PM
Hi
I have tenants that have had an inventory for over 3months now and they will not return it to me. How will I stand in a dispute if it isn't signed if I try and rely on it.
Cheers

Snorkerz
14-12-2011, 21:21 PM
Was there a reason it wasn't completed at the start of the tenancy?

Who compiled the inventory?

spare
14-12-2011, 21:40 PM
The landlord. He did complete it at the start but he usually then gives the tenants the inventory and then asks to collect it seven days later!!!

Snorkerz
14-12-2011, 22:02 PM
Well, may I suggest the landlord does it himself before move-in in future and then does a walkthrough with the tenants at the start of the tenancy. It is only possible to get a good idea of condition before the tenants have moved their furniture in so the 7 day leeway is un-necessary.

If there is a claim at the end of the tenancy the landlord will have to explain the situation to the arbitrator or judge and keep his fingers crossed. He has no proof (and landlord compiled inventories are not highly regarded by the deposit schemes), just cirumstantial evidence.

spare
14-12-2011, 22:08 PM
Hi
I just wondered which is the best way to include the inventory. Do you include it in the AST. If so what would be the best clause to use? Or can you just have the separate inventory signed by the tenants and then use that.

spare
14-12-2011, 22:23 PM
Would completing it on the day and signing it there and then not seem as though the tenants didn't have enough time to check over it. Couldn't they say they were pressured into it.
Cheers

LesleyAnne
14-12-2011, 22:36 PM
If LL does a "walk through" as suggested, then they take tenants into every room and read the inventory with them, giving them a chance to query any point or question anything they do not agree with. I also include the utility readings on my inventory, taken the day the tenants move in, so they sign acceptance of these as well.

It shouldn't take 7 days to check each item and giving the tenants the responsibility of returning it is never a good idea. Those who are savvy enough to realise it can work in their favour if LL does not have a check-in inventory will conveniently "forget"!

Ericthelobster
15-12-2011, 06:54 AM
I just wondered which is the best way to include the inventory. Do you include it in the AST. If so what would be the best clause to use? Or can you just have the separate inventory signed by the tenants and then use that.It's usual (I think) to have the inventory as a separate document - I've always done that.

Are you an agent?


Would completing it on the day and signing it there and then not seem as though the tenants didn't have enough time to check over it. Couldn't they say they were pressured into it.I also do the walkthrough procedure and it's always worked well for me; I'm mindful of the potential for the above accusation though it's never happened. I think there's much less risk for me overall than if I leave the paperwork with the tenant to return (hopefully) at their leisure.

The only thing I've come up with to maybe cover myself is that in my written offer of a tenancy, when I explain what will happen in terms of payments, signing AST agreement, collection of keys etc I also mention that we will do the inventory together on move-in day, and that we should allow up to an hour for that - at least potentially then there's some circumstantial evidence to refute a false claim that I demanded a signature there and then without allowing enough time for proper inspection.

spare
15-12-2011, 11:50 AM
Thanks. No I'm landlord of my own properties and help others to try to get them to cross the t's and dot i's etc but to also ensure they are fair to their tenants, strange concept I know for a few of them. Lol
I have never had a problem before with collecting the inventory within seven days as I mention that it will help the tenants at the other end of their check out.
I am always looking to improve the proceedures I have and learn as much as I can.
I just still think that doing it all within an hour may give rise to them saying I had no choice as it was the only way I could get the keys and otherwise I may have been homeless.
If this hasn't been tested I think I may just continue on the way things are.
Cheers

Snorkerz
15-12-2011, 12:00 PM
Thanks. No I'm landlord of my own properties and help others to try to get them to cross the t's and dot i's etc but to also ensure they are fair to their tenants, An admirable approach, I am sure many members hope you will stay with us and learn loads more, and gradually impart that knowledge to as many as you can


I just still think that doing it all within an hour may give rise to them saying I had no choice as it was the only way I could get the keys and otherwise I may have been homeless.
If this hasn't been tested I think I may just continue on the way things are.If every single thing on the inventory is pointed out to the tenant (c 1 hour) then there can be no come back as anything NOT cited on the inventory is to the landlords detriment, not the tenants.

Picking up from another thread at the moment - on checkout landlord is claiming loo seat broken but the inventory does not say if it was broken or perfect - therefore landlord can not prove it was perfect when tenant moved in.

Ericthelobster
15-12-2011, 12:34 PM
If every single thing on the inventory is pointed out to the tenant (c 1 hour) then there can be no come back as anything NOT cited on the inventory is to the landlords detriment, not the tenants.

Picking up from another thread at the moment - on checkout landlord is claiming loo seat broken but the inventory does not say if it was broken or perfect - therefore landlord can not prove it was perfect when tenant moved in.But I think what the OP's saying - to continue the loo seat example - is, suppose the check-in inventory states "Loo-seat, pristine condition", then when the Case of the Broken Loo Seat comes to court, the tenant might potentially claim he wasn't given time to investigate the afore-mentioned sanitaryware, in order to ascertain that it was in fact broken...

spare
15-12-2011, 16:36 PM
Tried one last time tenants have sent an email saying that understand that it is also there to protect them and I can collect it on Saturday. Now I'm stuck as to which procedure is better!!!

theartfullodger
15-12-2011, 16:44 PM
Next time, get everything signed BEFORE tenancy signed,then keys given ..

spare
15-12-2011, 17:40 PM
I still think that that will give rise to " I've been forced into this I only had 1hr to look at the inventory" especially even saying a tenant has 7 days to get an inventory back to you or it stands as it is written, is deemed as possibly not fair putting that timescale on them I don't think 1hr would be any better.
Why on earth don't the deposit schemes do a simple email service that would answer some of these questions and how our processes would be viewed as the last thing I want to do is not to follow a good proceedure not only to protect Landlord but also tenants, just an idea!!!
Cheers

bellysaysumsh
15-12-2011, 18:10 PM
spare,

I think a lot of well-meaning tenants will appreciate your approach. At check-in, even a walk-through taking an hour can mean that the tenant signs a document that doesn't reflect the condition of all items. It isn't until you've been there a few days that you notice things like a small crack in the door's stained glass or that a couple of the adjustable shelves in the fridge door are broken and taped together. (Happened to me.) My cleanliness standards are quite high, but I didn't notice until using the shower and for the first time needing to roll down the window blind that actually -- in this very bright morning sun from this angle -- it's glaringly obvious that this blind located just above my toothbrush is quite dirty!

Fortunately my landlord was kind of like you. Upon check-in we did a walk-through, and I was given an initial inventory we'd agreed upon. I was given about a week to check if there was anything I wanted to change, at which time we met again and did another walk-through. Signed, dated, no problems.

When the property is handed back at check-out, it's often that the tenant will hear back several days later that the landlord had discovered this or that. It goes both ways so I think spare's approach is only fair.

Snorkerz
15-12-2011, 18:19 PM
Okay, a bit labour intensive, but how about the inventory compiled in advance with a quick walk through and signed off with a note as part of the inventory saying that the tenant can query any of the items in writing within 7 days. If T makes contact, then landlord can go back and they can make appropriate amendments, if no contact, then it becomes binding after 7 days.

Ericthelobster
15-12-2011, 18:21 PM
It isn't until you've been there a few days that you notice things like a small crack in the door's stained glass or that a couple of the adjustable shelves in the fridge door are broken and taped together.Even if the inventory has been signed at check-in, there's nothing to stop the tenant from writing to the landlord afterwards pointing out any issues like this; I'm sure that a letter dated a few days after the inventory would carry a good bit of weight if there was a dispute at check out.

theartfullodger
15-12-2011, 19:50 PM
Okay, a bit labour intensive, but how about the inventory compiled in advance with a quick walk through and signed off with a note as part of the inventory saying that the tenant can query any of the items in writing within 7 days. If T makes contact, then landlord can go back and they can make appropriate amendments, if no contact, then it becomes binding after 7 days.

Quite: That's what my Inventories state...(and is what the template from SaL has...)

bellysaysumsh
15-12-2011, 22:45 PM
Okay, a bit labour intensive, but how about the inventory compiled in advance with a quick walk through and signed off with a note as part of the inventory saying that the tenant can query any of the items in writing within 7 days. If T makes contact, then landlord can go back and they can make appropriate amendments, if no contact, then it becomes binding after 7 days.

Essentially what I describe is very similar. Landlord/Agent already has a prepared inventory list. Tenant arrives at check-in, and a walk-through is done according to inventory. Tenant points things out that they've noticed that isn't on the list. Landlord takes note. Landlord sends tenant an email with attached inventory for review and changes if necessary. If the tenant wants to add things that aren't on the list, landlord/agent meet at property to confirm the tenant's points. Inventory is finalized and both sign. I think the main difference with yours is that in my version signatures are only required when a final inventory can be confirmed from both sides with minimal need for amendments later. Many tenants, particularly those who have been burned in the past, will appreciate this.

Lawcruncher
16-12-2011, 18:52 PM
You are all wrong! :(happy):

I assume that what is meant by "inventory" here is a hybrid document which is part a list of contents and in part a record of not only the condition of the contents but also the property.

To the extent that it is a list of contents it needs to be referred to in the agreement with the agreement saying that the items listed are included in the letting.

To the extent that it is a schedule of condition it needs to be referred to in the agreement with the agreement saying why the condition has been recorded.

If the inventory is not referred to in the agreement it will just sort of flap about. It may have some evidential value, particularly if signed by the tenant, but not as much as if part of the agreement.

If the inventory is to be referred to in the agreement it must exist, and therefore be agreed, at the time the agreement is made. If you say that it is to be agreed later, that is an agreement to agree which is void unless there is a provision for a third party to settle the inventory in the event of a dispute; such a provision is not really appropriate for a short term residential tenancy.

All this means that the inventory ought to be settled before the agreement is signed. "Settled" means "properly settled". As has been suggested, you must allow the tenant sufficient time to check the accuracy of the inventory before signing up - "Come back to us if there is a problem" is not on.

Snorkerz
16-12-2011, 18:55 PM
Welcome back Lawcruncher :)

Lawcruncher
16-12-2011, 20:08 PM
Welcome back Lawcruncher :)

Been resting! Only back for a day or two as I have people coming for Christmas tomorrow.

spare
17-12-2011, 20:51 PM
So i think i will basically not mention inventory in AST and keep doing what I have been as it seems to work so far. As you say lawcruncher if it is mentioned you cannot then let it be changed after the tenancy is signed so I still think therefore having a walk round for one hour and saying to the tenant sign this or we can't sign the AST is forcing them into this I think!!