Landlord Inventory Form

Inventory Form Checklist

What is an inventory?

The Inventory is a listing of all the contents of a property and a record of the condition of the property. It’s also referred to as a “schedule of condition“. The form is designed to help monitor the condition of the property/items before a tenant moves in and just before a tenant leaves, so it can be made clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for out of the deposit.

This is a step often skipped by landlords’ and tenants’, when it really shouldn’t be. An inventory can prevent a lot of disputes between tenants and landlords, so it’s extremely useful.

How is an Inventory prepared?

The Landlord, Letting Agent or an Independent Inventory Clerk should prepare the Inventory which should be agreed with the tenant on move-in day. The Landlord/Agent and tenant(s) should sign the Inventory and initial every page to signify agreement.

Photographic or video evidence of the property contents and condition is optional but often a wise safety net. How thorough you want to be can often depend on how valuable the items in the property are. Obviously the more valuable items like a cooker and washing machine should be captured with imagery, so there is no question of their condition.

Update (23rd May 2012) – I’ve retrospectively written an elaborate blog post on how landlords should prepare an inventory and take supporting images – I would highly recommend reading that before compiling your inventory.

When Should the inventory be cross-checked?

It is common, and advisable, for landlords or agents to make regular inspections when managing a tenancy. Inspecting on a quarterly basis (every 3 months) to compare the inventory with the current condition should be perfectly acceptable to both parties. It’s important to remember that a tenant needs 24 hour notice in writing before an inspection is made.

The final inventory check at the end of tenancy

Ideally, on move out day the landlord should do a final inventory check. The inventory must be checked and agreed with the tenant before the deposit being returned.

It’s imperative that the inventory is checked immediately before the tenant leaving, so there can be no argument about any damage occurring after the tenant has gone. The deposit should only be handed back with in 7 to 14 days if there are no outstanding issues when the inspection is complete.

What happens if items have been damaged?

If there’s a general consensus between the parties on what has been damaged, then estimates should be drawn up for repairs/replacements. The tenant should be informed of all the costs in writing and amounts of deductions from the deposit.

A tenancy deposit scheme should be holding the deposit, so they should be made aware of what has been agreed, so they can distribute the deposit accordingly.

If the deposit doesn’t cover the amount needed to carry out the repairs, an invoice itemising all costs involved for additional payments should be sent to the tenant. If the tenant is insured, this evidence should be provided for the insurance company.

If items need to be replaced then it’s the landlords obligation to consider betterment. This means that the original age and condition of the replaced item should be taken into account when estimating the replacement cost.

What if the parties cannot agree?

If the parties cannot reach agreement as to which items have been damaged, the severity of the damage, the repair or replacement costs etc, then great care should be taken in:

  • recording the state and condition with photographs
  • obtaining estimates and repair or replacement costs
  • informing the tenant/landlord in writing

All disputes will be handled by an independent and free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service provided by the scheme the deposit is secured with, which will aim to resolve any disputes quickly and without the need for court action.

Each scheme will contain an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service, so both tenant and landlord will need to contact the appointed scheme. If both landlord and tenant agree to use the service, they will have to agree to accept its decision and will not be able to apply to the courts. If you or your landlord do not agree to use the Tenancy Deposit Scheme service then the dispute will usually go to the county court.

Should I bother creating an Inventory for an unfurnished property?

The short answer is yes. Even if a property is deemed as unfurnished, there will still be items that can be damaged and costly to replace e.g sinks, carpets, condition of walls etc. Consequently, it is still crucial to have a detailed inventory.

Hiring an inventory clerk

Hiring an independent inventory clerk to conduct and document the inventory can save you time and problems. They’re professionals, so they’ll ensure everything is accounted for properly in the inventory at the beginning and end of the tenancy.

The cost for an independent clerk can vary depending on the size of the property, and whether it is furnished or unfurnished. As a rough guide, you could be looking at approximately £100 for an unfurnished property, while £130 for furnished properties. In any case, it’s always worth shopping around for the best rates.

If there is a disagreement at the end of a tenancy between landlord and tenant, which needs the assistance of a tenancy deposit protection schemes dispute resolution service, the independent inventory clerk’s report will be a vital piece of evidence to help resolve the situation fairly and quickly. This is where the initial cost of an independent clerk can be a very wise investment.

Wise-moves.co.uk offers a professional Property Inventory service, starting from £108.00

Download Property Inventory Form

Download Property Inventory Form

The form can be modified so it suits your requirements.

Does anyone use an Inventory Form, if so, has it been helpful?

43 Comments - join the conversation...

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Marcus Hill2008-06-17 13:27:46

Thank you for the property inventory, very helpful

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Gurpreet Khaira2009-03-10 12:07:14

Excellent article, thank you very much for the form, great stuff!

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sonni2009-05-30 16:01:32

An estate agent said that an inventory completed by the landlord might not have much weight in court. Does anyone know if this is true and should a professional service be used or is this just another money making scheme?

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joan2009-07-22 21:55:14

Thank you very much for the information-i have learnt something and also the form-i needed some help and this was it-

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mark standing2009-08-15 19:41:49

Thanks very much,great form,nice to share

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andy cameron2009-10-02 15:48:27

hi thanks for free download and allowing me to veiw the site . who's the Honey on the video ?.... is she single ?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord2009-10-02 23:09:03

Hey Andy,
She's my friend and no, she's not single :)

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James2009-10-08 13:18:59

Hi,
Wicked site and a great template for an inventory form.
I work for an inventory company and just wanted to answer sonni.
You an do your own inventories but your estate agent was right to advise you otherwise. An inventory is supposed to be an independant document that does not favour either party.
Even if the tennant signs the document that you have written, when it comes to the check out they may not agree to sign to the changes and that is were the problem occurs.

Hope i helped

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Jools2009-10-08 17:51:45

Wondered where the lady had gone! You keeping her to yourself Landlord?

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videoinventory2010-02-10 15:59:27

Sonni, yes to a degree, inventories done by credible third parties are better in court. Actually, video inventories are the recommended standard these days.

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Stan2010-02-23 16:02:15

A property inventory should be done by a third party so that should you need to use it as evidence in a dispute it will stand up in court.

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Christian2010-07-01 14:35:30

This is a very well written the advice is 100 percent correct keep up the good informative work

l am an Inventory Clerk and it is positive to see people keeping everyone informed

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Christian2010-07-01 14:55:36

This message is to sonni No3

You can do your own inventory as a landlord or a letting agent. but this is not advisable and your letting agent has advised you correctly.
This definately not a money making scheme for anyone. it became law in 2007 that an inventory would have to be taken Info contained in Housing act 2004
as mentioned earlier you may do your own report but you will find problems when your tenant decides it was not impartial. despite the fact they have 14 days to go over the property and point out any defects.
An independant report will carry much more weight if any disputes arise and the landlord is more likely to get rewarded with an independant inventory report opposed to their own.

Just a small word of warning if you decieded to skip the inventory your tenant can take you to court and the judge will order you pay them back 3x the amount of deposit given and you will not be able to evict under section 21

hope this info is helpful Deposit scheme info.

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Craig2010-07-07 16:59:15

"Just a small word of warning if you decieded to skip the inventory your tenant can take you to court and the judge will order you pay them back 3x the amount of deposit given and you will not be able to evict under section 21"

This is wrong, this is attributed to not lodging the deposit correctly and has nothing to do with skipping an inventory, skip an inventory and skip any chance of getting it right in court as you'll have no evidence to back you up.

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Margaret2010-07-28 00:21:23

I obtained my inventory from an agency and felt it was lacking in certain areas so I updated it and made it more specific to the individual property I am renting. However, if both you (as a Landlord) and the tenant go over the inventory thoroughly and make any changes as you both see fit and both parties initial the changes on each others copy at that time, I cannot see why this would not stand up in court. I recently paid an inventory company to perform an 'inventory/check in' and I can honestly say I could have done a better job myself and saved the £110.00 it cost me!

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Tilly2010-09-06 14:47:39

Does the landlord have to supply you with an inventory and if it is a furnished property and you buy your own things and the landlord removes his, does the inventory then have to be changed? I never recieved one and since living here have replaced nearly everything yet nothing has been put down in writing, where do i stand when i go to leave in 4 weeks?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord2010-09-06 15:06:59

Hey Tilly,

Inventories are completely optional, there is no law enforcing them to exist. But there should always be one in place, just to avoid complications.

The fact you chose to replace items was your decision, so I'm afraid there's not much you can do. Unless you kept the original items you replaced, you'll most likely have to leave the new replacements in the property.

I personally wouldn't have replaced anything which was the landlord's responsibility to do.

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Helen2011-01-10 16:48:34

Have been a tenant in a property for 10 wks. landlord has just given me a handwritten inventory and she has put down that 2 rooms have new carpets.I bought these carpets myself and had them fitted with the landlords agreement. I would have left them in on vacancy anyway but surely she should not have them on her inventory, as they are mine. very confused. Helen

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Newlandlord832011-01-28 15:21:29

Thanks! Great help!

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Lizzy2011-02-02 10:43:48

I work for a esate agent and all tenants should be supplied with an inventory report either by the landlord or by the estate agent. Inventory which are manually done can have lots of errors in them so make sure that you check and sign the inventory so that you verify the condition of the property. We use an inventory software from Isurvey Inventory which allows us not only to document the condition of all fixed and non fixed items in the property but also to take supporting pictures. There website is www.isurvey-inventory.co.uk/

Using a dedidacted inventory software means that any damage be it large or small is included in the inventory at the time of check in so that when the tenancy ends your deposit is protected unless you have made any additional damage to items which cannot be classed as wear and tear. Tenants should always ask landlords or estate agents for an inventory before they move into the property.

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Graham2011-02-14 16:13:43

A tenant has been in my furnished property for 4.5 years; it was new when they moved in, as was furnishings (prior to deposit secure period. Tenants have moved out and left lots of damage.. this exceeds the deposit i hold by about 100%.

Tenants say they have nothing to pay as they have been in property 4.5 years.. normal wear and tear, their term. However I want to clame for damage i.e. quality sofas covers torn and frame broken and fridge bosch handle broken and freezer draws broken (cannot repair as more than new fridge) etc etc. Can anyone advise what i should charge them.. replacement, 50% or 25%?

Thanks Graham

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Kathy Canton2011-03-08 03:43:45

Thank you!!

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chris2011-03-16 19:35:24

We rent from a Landlady, through a letting agency. When we moved in 6 months ago, the agency said the inventory was done by an external third party and was delayed, and we would be receiving our copy through the post soon. We never did. Our landlady has since changed the agency due to them being utterly useless. The new agency is still trying to track down this missing inventory. Where do we stand legally in terms of our deposit, if, when we leave, we still have not seen/checked/signed a copy of the inventory? How can we prove something isn't missing or damaged?

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Piazope2011-03-17 13:46:39

Chris,

May I suggest you keep all paperwork related to this subject, if you have not written to the landlady about this, do so immediately, preferbly recorded post and keep a copy of this letter and her reply, if she does not reply note this on the copy of the letter you sent her, should she reply verbally make an exact note of what she said.

I beleive the onus is on the landlady to provide this information; if she does not you will have proof you tried your best, and she failed you.

IMHO

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chris2011-03-20 16:08:21

Thanks for the advice, appreciate it!

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Bellapod2011-03-21 15:28:26

As someone who runs their own inventory business, an inventory is essential.
I have seen properties left in disrepair and needing replacements but due to no inventory being given, the tenant has been able to get away with it.
On an alternate note, I have seen properties which have been stated wrongly that there is damage from the tenant but the damage was already there!
An independent inventory service is quite useful due to the inventory creators being non bias and having no connection to either landlord, agency or tenant.

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Bellapod2011-04-04 09:01:28

For a start Sophi, a handwritten inventory is not great!! Especially as the Landlord can add things to it as they go along.
Were you there when the inventory took place (as in standing there)?

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Karin Hall2011-07-07 08:55:33

Hi,
here's a question... We just started renting a house which is part furnished. Orfiginally we wanted it unfurnished, but just before signing the lease got told that the furniture that was in there would have to stay after all. Part of this is a big unit in the living room. We didn't like it, but ok, we could put up with it.
On moving in now though, it turns out that the unit in the living room is not only there, but it is also full of books, and locked with the keys missing, so we can't even use it! There is also one other cupboard with is locked, and I assume is full of stuff, and the loft is also locked. Is this legal? Surely if you agree to rent a house, then it should be the whole house, not with stuff locked up and full of the landlords stuff?!?!?! Can anybody advise?

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Josephine2011-07-07 09:42:07

We have been in a property 2 years and just had an inspection. Thee is a large crack across the corner of the baby's room window which we've noticed before but assumed it was there when we moved in. Now the agency are trying to say we've done it but we've done nothing in the room that could have caused it and it's been there as long as we can remember. Apparently it's not listed on the inventory. I don't think they have photos of the windows from when we moved in and neither do we, where do we stand?

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Karla Winter2011-07-20 14:44:57

Many thanks for the inventory which is very useful. Like other subscribers, my estate agent wanted over £100 for my unfurnished property for letting and you have saved me the money.

Gratefully yours,

Karla
Croydon

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Genevieve2012-05-08 21:46:29

Hi
Our landlord and Estate Agent didn't provide us with an inventory at the beginning of our tenancy. Our house also wasn't professionally cleaned before we moved in as stated in our contract. The Agent now wants us to pay £275 for a professional cleaner to clean the property before we move. We took photographs of the house the day we moved in showing the bad state it was in and a inventory wasn't made. Does the landlord have a leg to stand on when it comes to making us clean the property?

Thanks

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Letting, Blogs and Builders… « movetoitaly2012-06-23 20:57:46

[...]    Do an inventory. I found some information and a downloadable template on this blog: http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/property-inventory-form/ There’s also some guidance for Landlords on there too which I’ve just spotted so I’ll take a [...]

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Jerry Jaramillo2012-07-21 04:26:26

THANKS ALOT FOR THE FREE RENTAL PROPERTY INVENTORY..I've been looking all over the place for something like this and finally found it...Its just want I want ...thanks a million...Jerry

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Sancerre2012-10-07 07:58:02

I am a landlord of several years based in London and in the early days used to handwrite my own basic inventory, it took hours and looked awful,and i lost hundreds so dont do it yourself.In 2008 as our portfolio grew and I moved agents,I was recommended to use professional inventory people It was the best days work I ever did as since then I havent had any problems with getting money withheld from deposit in order to pay for damage and loss. Blooming marvellous inventory service and not silly money. I dont know their website address but there number is a London number 0208 290 1000.Their reports are great and staff well informed. My son now runs my property business, he will be happy to advise any of you on other matters.

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sar2013-06-22 23:02:45

what do i doif the tenant disagrees with the discription of the property... She states that 'your idea and mine are very different'

I have painted and scrubbed the house before they moved in and to me the house was very clean however she says that the cooker is not to her standereds of clean which i have discribed as in excellent, clean, condition. The cooker is 12 months old and doesnt have a mark on it.. she said that she intendeds to amen the inventory herself. I am new to tis landlord stuff and i have no idea hat to say to her or to do with her dispute.

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Abby2013-06-23 18:26:01

the inventory management software from Isurvey, is it of use to only letting agencies and clerks or even individual landlords can use this service. The service is only 5 pounds + vat.. so i was thinking as an individual landlord i can get hold of this.. are there any other individual landlords using this?.. also are there any other common famous softwares of the similar type available.

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Lesley2013-07-16 08:46:58

Hi,
We've been in our property since December 2012, when an inventory was completed and we were given a copy. Most if not all of the things on the inventory are marked as poor. We asked what this means and were told, after we've been in the property 6months, they will look at replacing the poor items, mainly carpets. We have been asking since the 1st June 2013 if the carpets can be replaced (they are disgusting, covered in paint etc) the letting agent keeps fobbing us off saying "yeah I can't see it being a problem, we'll email the owner" or "we'll phone the owner". Everytime we chase we are being fobbed off. Where do we stand?

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Suz2013-07-16 22:37:37

Hi, sorry to interrupt as my case is in a bit of A&E state.
I rented the property from a company a few years ago, and it liquidized the property so it was sold to a new landlord. Her son came over to me (Who act on behalf of her) with the promise of refund my deposit in full with the condition of an empty house as he is going to do a full house renovation on it. (There were serious mould hidden under the paint). The check out was brought by the new landlord-only stayed briefly, her inventory guy, her son, me and a friend together. But she never sent me any copy of the inventory check out report done by this professional guy despite my requests for it. I didn't hear from her for more than 3 weeks until I contacted her son. Now,, She just made up the check out inspection and costs herself-goes up to 1000, and she claims them been backed up with sufficient evidence and invoice, but never shown to me either.
Could you please give me some suggestion of how to approach it? Where do I stand legally? Procedures involved?
Deeply appreciated!

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Mr R2013-10-16 19:20:55

Hi, my tenant has given notice and I've just seen that the inventory I prepared has the wrong address on it! Does this now make it null and void for when the tenant departs? Help please!

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vicky2013-10-24 19:50:56

Hello, quick question. We moved into our house 3 weeks ago and there was a few issues, they are slowly getting fixed. But now the landlord is saying he will not fix the garage door, as the property was not advertised with a garage. When the agent showed us the house, he said the garage was with the property and we were able to use it. The garage is also included in the inventory, what can we do? Thanks

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Nicolas D2014-04-04 20:05:18

I'm planning to leave the property 6 days before the end date of the letting agreement. The agent said the inventory check is not going to be done until the last date of the agreement. I'm not going to be in the UK by that time because I'm moving overseas. Is there a way that I can have the inventory check done on my move out date?

Thanks

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Richard W2014-04-22 12:20:21

Great article, thanks!

In addition to hiring an inventory clerk, you can check out this new app I've started using to inventory my properties: Snupps.

It's a great visual tool for taking home inventory for my rentals that is really quick and easy to use. It helps me keep track of receipts, warranties and spending on the properties.

It's been really useful for me, so thought I'd share!

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Richard W2014-04-22 16:08:38

Vicky, - this is a tricky one. Did you sign anything when putting down the deposit to say you 'accept the property as is.' This may make all the difference.

Contracts can be legally binding by both in writing and verbally. So even if the property was advertised without the garage being mentioned, you did ask the estate agent (a legal rep of the property and landlord) who verbally confirmed you you could use it. You can argue you took the property on that basis when deciding between properties, regardless it being advertised or not.

But what about an inventory assessment check? Regardless if it's listed in the inventory, your estate agent or third party should have done an assessment, checking the working condition of everything. If it doesn't work, it should of be marked on the inventory clearly for you to see, before you sign it. Some estate agents don't do an inventory assessment and just provide you with an inventory. I'm guessing that's what happened with you.

It seems the estate agent is in the fault here, not the landlord really. I would really try to make it clear and express your un-satisfaction with their services.

It might be worth looking into health and safety laws too as part of the property is unsecure by the sounds of it [with a garage door that doesn't lock properly].

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