What’s an Inventory Clerk and do I need one?

Renting property can be a tricky business, for both landlords and tenants. A marked wall, broken window or ripped carpet can cost the tenant a hefty deposit. The landlord may feel money needs to be spent on the property before it can be rented out again. What is the answer? Using a professional inventory service from check-in to check-out. This protects the tenant’s deposit and the landlord’s property - saving both parties time, hassle and money.

What is an inventory clerk?

Inventory clerks are professionals who make detailed notes of the condition and contents of a property before it is rented out by a landlord. The clerk may carry out mid-tenancy checks on the property, and will return when the tenancy expires to compare the original condition with the end-of-tenancy condition. The return of the tenant’s full deposit is usually dependent upon the state in which he or she leaves the property, excluding fair wear and tear.

What is noted on an inventory?

An inventory is a legal document and should be thorough. This is in the interests of the tenant and the landlord. There are less likely to be problems when the tenant is leaving the property if everything is noted in a detailed and efficient manner in the first place. The inventory should be agreed by both the landlord and the tenant when the tenant moves into the property.The inventory should list everything included in the property. This includes the doors and locks, ceiling, walls, light fittings, flooring and carpets, blinds and curtains, smoke detectors, door frames, plug sockets, cupboards, door handles, extractor fans and heating appliances - to name but a few.As well as these fixtures and fittings, any furniture belonging to the landlord should be included with descriptions of the condition. It is important that any marks, chips or damage is included next to each description, so that the landlord is not responsible for any damage done by the tenant and vice versa. Some inventories also include utility readings – gas, water and electricity. Companies may also take digital photographs of the property.

Who uses inventory clerks?

  • Landlords and letting agencies use inventories. If you own property which you let to tenants, an inventory should be carried out before they move in. If you rent out more than one property, some inventory companies, such as Inventories Online offer discounted rates.
  • Some inventory companies also provide a snagging service. If you are buying a property which is a new build, a professional can examine it before you move in and discuss any faults with the developer or builder. “Why in this day and age is it acceptable to sell brand new homes that have an average of 118 defects per property and then take months to put them right?” asks snagging company, Inspector Home. Snagging companies carry out thorough audits of new homes and negotiate with those responsible for the problems, to solve them.

How do I find an inventory clerk?

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks is a professional body with a code of practice for each of its members. This is a useful place to look for an inventory clerk, because you can be assured of a level of professionalism.