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Inventory Check

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677 views 1 replies latest reply: 02 November 2015

The landlord has accepted my notice to end the lease. I have been notified that an Inventory Check company  – of the landlord’s choosing – will inspect the property. I am to pay the £90. fee for this inspection. I am not to be at the property when the check is being done. I have been given a day which does not allow for any eventualities should the cleaning company I have hired not arrive on time, and if I want to change the appointment from that which the Inventory Company has given me, then I will have to pay a cancellation fee. I have also been told that I must drop off the keys at an estate agents office – many miles away – in good time for the Inventory company to collect them. There has never been a management company involved, just me managing everything so I cannot ask advice in that quarter.

Considering that I am paying the fee and thereby hiring this Inventory Check company, it seems to me unfair that I have no say in any of the arrangements and must tolerate being told what to do constantly.

Any words of advice would be welcomed.

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Hi Janette

As you say, this is a service you’re paying for so you’re entitled to be involved and you should make that clear to the landlord. The inventory is for the landlord’s benefit too – if it comes to a dispute over deductions then they will need to prove a right to deduct money from your deposit so they really need this inventory. That is often forgotten by landlords who are used to bossing tenants around with no resistance. You should point out to the landlord that if the inventory takes place after the keys have been handed back that will considerably weaken the landlord’s case for making deductions on the basis of the inventory, as anything could have happened between you handing the keys back and the inventory taking place. How can you sign off on an inventory that you can’t check in person? The normal process is inventory followed by key return. Involving tenants gives the inventory more credibility, which is why the landlord is silly to say you can’t be there.

Check your tenancy agreement first and see what it says about the check out inventory. The tenancy agreement is what gives the landlord authority so if it doesn’t say the landlord gets to choose the inventory company then you can query it all. If the tenancy agreement doesn’t mention you paying for an inventory then it might just be worth doing your own.

Personally, I am always present at check out inventories and I follow the clerk around with my camera and make a complete nuisance of myself, partly to make clear that I’m not going to be messed around and partly so I can see what they’re looking at. In the four flats I’ve rented in 15 years I’ve never lost any deposit, despite having a dog and some party loving housemates, so it’s worth making sure you’re involved in this.

If the landlord is obstructive then do your own inventory so you have your own proof of any issues – that’s the point of all this, to make sure you can show you didn’t cause damage. However, when it comes down to it, with deposits it is up to the landlord to prove a right to make deductions, it’s not up to you to prove that they can’t.


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