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Should There Be a Mandatory Inventory for Lettings?

Inventory management firm No Letting Go has called for a mandatory detailed inventory for lettings to ensure that landlords and letting agents are compliant with the law. The company suggests that by providing a robust inventory process before the tenancy begins, any issues that might contravene any laws on providing habitable accommodation can be spotted and fixed in advance of the tenant moving in.

Chief executive Nick Lyons said: “inventories can act as a great barrier against non-compliance – being that first block to prevent unfit homes from entering the market. A good inventory…can help highlight any potential issues with a property, and ensure homes are fully habitable and decent from the off.”

Why Introduce a Mandatory Inventory for Lettings?

The argument for introducing a mandatory inventory for lettings centres around the growing amount of legislation being introduced into the private lettings sector. The introduction of a landlord register and the Decent Homes Standard, which is currently in review, are just two examples of red tape that landlords and letting agents must negotiate to be shown to offer a property that lives up to the expectations of tenants.

With more legislation come more opportunities for landlords and letting agents to miss something and face a potential fine. No Letting Go argues that a mandatory inventory for lettings would cover all of these bases at the beginning, offering peace of mind to landlords and tenants alike that the property is fit for habitation.

What Would the Mandatory Inventory for Lettings Include?

The mandatory inventory for lettings would feature all the elements of the traditional inventory. This includes the items provided by the landlord for the use of the tenants, as well as notes on their condition, and any observations about the state of the walls, ceilings, carpets and other fixed items within the property.

What is being suggested in addition is that the compulsory inventory would also document compliance with health and safety regulations too. This would include carbon monoxide and smoke alarm legislation, electrical and gas checks, fire safety and more.

What Should Feature in a Lettings Inventory?

Anything that could be damaged inside the property needs listing on the inventory. This is to protect both the landlord and tenant. If the tenant damages something during the time they live there, the landlord can prove that it was in good condition previously by using the inventory as evidence. If the landlord incorrectly apportions blame for damage of an item to the tenant, they can prove that it was in that state when they moved in.

Here are items you should definitely add to the lettings inventory:

● Flooring, including worn carpet or damaged stone or wood

● Walls, with any damage to paint of wallpaper, scratches, marks or other issues

● Fixtures such as light fittings

● Fittings like taps, sinks and similar

● Ceilings, which can suffer from cracks or damage to paint, as well as structural issues

● Furniture, paying attention to structural condition and appearance. If you are renting out a property as ‘furnished’, you must include all furniture

● Appliances, such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and more

● Cupboards and shelves

● Windows, curtains and blinds

● Doors, both external and internal

● Bathrooms

● Garden furniture

● Garden, if the tenant is responsible for this area

● Any other buildings that are included in the rental, from sheds to garages and other outbuildings

One of the most important aspects of your lettings inventory is to take photographs. A written description of damage is easier to dispute than photographic evidence, so make sure you have images to add to the inventory for added peace of mind.

Help With Landlord Compliance

Your property management activities are a major contributor to compliance with the many and varied pieces of legislation involved with renting out properties. We can take that responsibility off your hands with our thorough and professional service.

Make sure you talk to us today about our outsourced property management solution. Call 0208 5757630 today!


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