Around six in ten tenants (58%) admit they don’t read their tenancy agreement thoroughly at the start of the tenancy, and only two-thirds of tenants (64%) say they read their inventory in detail.
This could prove to be a problem as your tenants may not understand their obligations and not fully realise why you may need to make a deduction to their deposit at the end of the tenancy. Ultimately it could cause delays to the return of the deposit and create conflict between you and your tenants.
It’s rare to end up with a dispute – only 1 per cent of tenancies go on to require the use of the free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service offered by the my|deposits scheme. But if this does happen then, as a landlord, the onus is on you to provide evidence to support your claim to the deduction.
The inventory (including a Schedule of Condition)
The inventory is one of the most powerful tools in your armoury if you find yourself with a formal deposit dispute. It’s essential that it’s as comprehensive as possible and it should detail the state of the property when your tenants move in, both the condition of each area and the level of cleanliness which gives them clear guidance on how it should be returned when it’s time to leave.
Your tenant leaves themselves at risk of incurring a deposit deduction if they don’t meet the requirements laid out in the tenancy agreement, and your inventory gives them a standard to work with. However, if you end up with a formal deposit dispute but you didn’t provide a detailed and robust inventory for the start and end of the tenancy, it might hamper your chances of making a successful claim over the deposit.
A comprehensive inventory is a must
You can always use a professional inventory company to compile one for you but many landlords choose not to and would prefer do it themselves. If this sounds like you then a new guide from my|deposits, the ins and outs of inventories, is a must read.
The guide aims to help avoid disputes by providing you with advice on the key things to take into account when compiling an inventory at the start of the tenancy. It outlines what kind of detail you need to describe the property’s items and its condition and also features top tips from industry experts.
It’s best to think about it now and be prepared form the start, before it’s too late. Read The ins and outs of inventories before your next tenants move in and check that it is sufficiently detailed to cover you in the event of a deposit dispute.
Download the guide: The ins and outs of inventories: a guide for landlords, agents and tenants here.