Frequenty asked questions

Can I JUST take photos instead?

Photographic inventories used to be fairly common, often done by the landlord or the tenant but are not a substitute for a detailed report.  A photo may show an item is in the house but it cannot give a complete description of the condition of an item.  The various tenancy deposit schemes use adjudicators in the case of a dispute over return of the deposit and they require robust evidence of condition which in most cases will mean a written description.  Whilst photographic evidence is useful to support text, it should either be embedded into the detailed written and dated report or each photograph must be signed and dated by landlord and tenant.  If a photo doesn't clearly show the condition or that condition is not described it will be of little use.


what is an inventory?

An Inventory is a vital part of the letting process as it will be used as documentary evidence to establish the condition and contents of a property at the start and end of a given tenancy.
An inventory will contain detailed information about a Landlords property, including the décor, fixtures and fittings, all contents, the garden and any outbuildings.

Why is an inventory important?

An inventory provides the information needed to form an unbiased and impartial record of the state of a property before a rental agreement commences. This is most important in the event of a dispute, as the information can be called upon by either party to demonstrate the original condition of any area or item within the property.

In April 2007, a section on Tenancy Deposit Protection was added to the Rental Act. This section means that your landlord must now place your deposit money within one of the agreed Tenancy Deposit Schemes. In order to get your money returned to you, you will now need a detailed inventory to prove the condition of the property. This is law for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales where a deposit has been paid.

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do I still need an inventory if the property is unfurnished?

The simple answer is yes. As well as providing an accurate description of the condition of any furniture that's included as part of a rental agreement, an inventory includes information relating to the condition of the entire property. This is vital when it comes to protecting your asset as a landlord, and in safeguarding your desposit money as a tenant.