Do I legally have to have an inventory?
No, legally, you don’t need to have an inventory when you rent your property.
An inventory is a document signed by both landlord and tenant, used to document the contents and condition of the rental property. Items such as furniture, soft furnishings and carpets are thoroughly recorded at the start and end of each tenancy, and should there be any changes to the property at the end of the lease, there is a point of reference to refer back to that has been signed by both parties.
Tenancy Deposit schemes have made taking an inventory more important, as when a deposit is taken, part of it will be intended to cover any damage that the landlord is left with at the end of the tenancy. Should you need to hold back any of your tenant’s deposit in order to pay for any damage, it will be far harder for you to do so should you not have an inventory.
If you don’t have an inventory and you need to challenge your tenant for damages, there is less chance of you successfully recovering anything out of the deposit for damage as it is likely that your tenant will claim that the damage already existed, and there will be no proof to prove who is right or wrong.
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