An inventory is a condition and cleanliness report of a property which is best completed at the beginning of a tenancy.
An effective inventory compromises a combination of both written descriptions and images across all rooms and spaces.
It is not a legal requirement in England to complete an inventory (it is required for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in both Scotland and Wales) but it sets an agreed condition of the unit as the resident takes occupancy. This agreed status at the very outset helps set the expectation around the condition of the unit (allowing for fair wear and tear) when the resident vacates.
With this in mind, it’s important to consider capturing signatures of the agreed cleanliness and condition by both parties – the inspector, who is an internal member of the team, and the resident.
Impact on the project: Improved resident satisfaction may contribute to less frequent void periods. Greater customer awareness around the inventory will help reduce maintenance costs and admin time completing dispute reports and adjudication claims
Impact on the customer: Being able to contribute to an Inventory Report on occupation provides clarity around the condition of the unit – and the condition it’s expected to be in when vacated
Should there be a dispute of the condition, at check-out for example, the adjudication process will have clear evidence in the report agreed by both parties so an informed decision of the expected return condition can be made.
It’s important to consider both parties’ additions to a report.
A report prepared by an RSA (Resident Service Associate) while finalising a unit prior to handover on a busy day may leave a few elements overlooked – a scuff on a wall for example.
Offering the resident an opportunity to provide their own feedback further cements the agreed condition at the beginning of a tenancy but also helps enhance the resident’s satisfaction as their opinion or contribution is welcomed.