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The inventory

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The inventory is a full and detailed report of the furniture, contents and state of repair of the flat or house on the day that you move in. It will list every single room in the house and list all of the major areas in each room, giving complete details of every knock, mark, stain, and bit of damage that is available to the naked eye. If there are any fittings, fixtures, furnishings or other contents that are being made available with the property, such as crockery or kitchenware for example, these are also listed individually.

Some landlords have to pay for them to be done, often at a cost of between £100 and £200. Others will take the time to do it themselves.

Conditional report
Many people get confused between a full inventory and a conditional report. The conditional report is much less detailed and will basically outline the basic state of each room in the property.

Check it at the check in
At the very least, you should have the opportunity to have a good look at the inventory at the start of your tenancy. You could even request that your landlord makes an inspection of the property with you, so that you can mutually identify and give appropriate wording to any damage, stains, breakages or faults. Many letting agents will do this with you on behalf of the landlord.

At the check in, make sure that you take readings of gas and electricity, check the boiler and take the opportunity to find out how the appliances, window locks and other such things work.

Even if you do not have a formal check-in, you should check the inventory and conditional report thoroughly. Once you have signed these, they form the basis for any deductions for breakages, loss, and damage. When the tenancy ends and you are about to leave, the landlord or letting agent should check the inventory. Any deductions will come directly out of your deposit. This makes it vital that the things that are listed are correct at the start of the tenancy, otherwise you will end up being charged for something that you didn't do, or a 'missing item' that was never there.

If your landlord has not provided one, you should write your inventory of the furniture, contents and state of repair of the flat or house and get the landlord to sign it. This will cover your back when you come to leave the property. Click here to view a sample inventory to give you an idea of how to set this out.

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