Plenty of landlords make the mistake of thinking that inventories are only useful for itemising furnishings, and therefore not a worthwhile investment for those leasing an unfurnished property. In fact, the items that cost landlords the most to replace tend to be the kind of things that most of us wouldn’t consider furnishings at all – white goods, windows, locks, electrical sockets, etc. More often than not, it’s not the furniture that needs repairing at the end of the tenancy, it’s the décor. Carpets get stained; wooden floors get scratched; holes appear in walls and doors; tenants don’t have time to clean the place properly before they move out… All of these things are worthy of compensation, but you will need proof of it if you’re going to ask the DPS to reimburse you.
The good news is, sometimes tenants don’t damage anything at all. The bad news is, they might make changes that future tenants could consider undesirable. For example, if your tenants decide to paint a strikingly-coloured feature wall, but you think neutral colours are more appealing to potential tenants, you will again need proof of what the property looked like at the start of the tenancy in order to recover redecoration costs. Similarly, if you want your property to be in a clean condition at the end of the tenancy, it’s best to have evidence that it was in a clean condition to begin with – otherwise your tenant could claim that he or she has left it exactly as they found it.
An inventory is essentially a snapshot: a comprehensive, impartial account of what a certain property looked like at a particular moment in time. In order for the DPS to make the right decision about how to allocate a tenant’s deposit, it is essential that they are able to envisage what the property looked like before the tenant moved in. For this reason, we at Excalibur are always striving to ensure that we offer as much detail as possible in our reports. We itemise furnishings, fittings, and appliances; our clerks seek out the tiniest scratches, scuffs, rubs and dents; we take utility meter readings at check-in and at check-out; and we even offer 360° Virtual Tours for those landlords who want to make absolutely certain that every inch of the property is photographed. Our prices are so reasonable that we are confident our clients will recognise our service as a worthy investment, regardless of whether you’re leasing your property with furniture – or without.