What are property inventory reports and why are they important?
A property inventory report is a binding legal document that serves as an accurate written record of the condition and, if furnished, the contents of a property. Here at Rhino Property Services we perform them at three points in the tenancy journey:
The elements that a property inventory include can vary by arrangement but typically cover such things as:
- Interior condition and decorative order
- Fixtures and fittings: doors, windows, curtains and blinds, carpets and so on.
- Furniture and other contents
The Importance of property Inventories
The property inventory report is vital for both tenant and you the landlord. As a landlord you can be at risk from an unscrupulous tenant as easily as a tenant can be at the mercy of a dodgy landlord.
So, a property inventory report then is about preventing disputes in regard to cleanliness and condition of both property and contents. But it’s about more than that.
There’s an in-vogue term in the housing world ‘Generation Rent’. As is suggested by this May 2017 report from the Residential Landlords Association ‘Why are property inventory reports important’, house prices are edging further and further from accessibility and reality for a big chunk of the population. So, of course, more and more people are renting. These shifting sands of home ownership and tenancy have resulted in a lot of renters that know their rights.
And there’s more. Rental legislation and taxation becomes ever more onerous. It reports that recent months have seen the introduction of:
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (1st October 2015).
DCLG ‘How to Rent’ prescribed information (1st February 2016).
Seeking possession under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (updated 11th February 2016).
Immigration Act 2016 ‘Right to Rent’ legislation (12th May 2016)
10% ‘Fair wear and tear’ allowance abolished (1st April 2016).
Changes to ‘buy-to-let’ landlord taxation (1st April 2016)
Worthy of note though is that all the above sits alongside agent/landlord responsibilities already in existence. They include such things as: gas and electrical safety, EPC requirements, Legionella safety, HMO licensing and housing, and health and safety rating system.
As the above-mentioned article points out, there’s no sign of any of this easing in the near future:
- By 1st April 2018, EPC certificates are obliged to show a minimum E rating.
- England and Wales are looking at a possibility of mandatory electrical safety requirements.
- A possibility of new tax rules for landlords of student housing.
Rhyme and reason
There is a point to these increasing complexities in the private sector though. They are directed at:
- Increasing the levels of professionalism in ALL landlords to increase safety for tenants
- Curbing the buy-to-let market demand. In so doing it’s hoped to ease the pressure on house-price growth. And generate more tax revenue.
And this is relevant why?
If by now you’re wondering how all this, as interesting as it may (or may not) be, is relevant to the property inventory process stick with me. In fact, there’s quite a number of goals achieved by creating a property inventory report covering compliance check lists, and detailing cleanliness and condition once signed and approved by your tenant. They include:
- Evidencing compliance 
- Evidencing a safer environment 
- Evidencing the purchase of replacements to HMRC
- Building a trusting relationship with tenants
Rhino Property Inventories are members of the Residential Landlords Association and have years of practice in the property inventory field. So why not contact us via our webform or call us on 07891 962979.