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How to check and agree an inventory

An inventory:

  • helps prove the state of the property when you moved in

  • can help avoid disputes about returning your deposit

The landlord or letting agent should draw up an inventory for you when your tenancy starts. They should do another one when you move out.

It should be easy to understand and say who carried it out and when. 

It's in your landlord's interest to provide an inventory but it's not a legal requirement.

If they do not do an inventory or if you think that what's provided is inadequate you could pay an independent inventory clerk to draw one up. 

You're unlikely to get the money back if you pay for your own inventory.

Check and sign

Check the inventory before you sign it.

It should have an overview of the whole property and a list of its contents, with details about the condition of:

  • the walls, ceiling and floor

  • the paintwork

  • carpets and curtains

  • any furniture and appliances

  • fittings such as cupboards

  • windows and doors

The inventory should say whether smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide detectors are provided and working.

The inventory may also contain a record of meter readings.

You can change the inventory to record anything that's wrong. For example:

  • add details of anything missing

  • damage that's not been recorded

  • if something's not working

  • change incorrect meter readings

Take photos of any cracks, marks or scratches that are not recorded in the inventory.

Only sign and date the inventory when you’re happy it’s accurate. Keep a copy.

Keep records of repairs

Report repairs to your landlord in writing as soon as possible.

Keep records if you replace something you broke or had something mended (for example because of accidental damage).

Keep copies of correspondence between you and your landlord.

Keep a record of any damage to your belongings or health that results from repairs not being done.

Check your inventory when you move out

Try to be there when your landlord or agent does a check out inventory when you move out.

You can make sure any disagreements are recorded and provide proof of damage that was there before you moved in.

Sign and date the check out inventory if you're happy it's accurate.

Disputes at the end of your tenancy

If you broke or damaged anything in the property while you were living there, your landlord can make deductions from your deposit.

Your landlord should not make deductions for normal wear and tear, such as worn carpets or faded curtains.

You can dispute unfair deductions from your tenancy deposit.

A tenancy deposit protection scheme or court will expect your landlord to provide evidence to support any deductions made.

Last updated: 22 July 2022

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