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When you’re moving into a rented property, you’re probably not planning for the day you leave. But you will move out eventually so make sure you protect yourself against any disputes with your landlord.

If you have an inventory, this can help if your landlord disagrees about the state of the property when you move out. Your landlord or letting agent should give you an inventory when you move in. But if they don’t do this, should you make one yourself? Let’s take a look at the benefits of a renting inventory and how you can agree one with your landlord.

Why you need an inventory

In case you don’t know, a renting inventory is a list of everything in your property when you move in. This includes any contents like furniture, appliances and curtains.

Your renting inventory should also describe the condition that the property and its contents are in, so if there’s any marks on the walls or if any of the doors are broken.

An inventory can help protect you when you move out because it proves the state your property was in when you first moved in. So if your landlord claims you scratched the paintwork and keeps some money back from your deposit for this, you wouldn’t have any protection without an inventory.

However, an inventory will also show things that weren’t broken before you moved in, so if you damage something while you’re living there, your landlord will see this from the inventory.

Putting an inventory together

Your landlord or letting agent should give you an inventory when you move in. If they don’t, you should ask for one. Make sure you check the inventory thoroughly before you sign it and add anything that’s not mentioned.

You can also make an inventory yourself if your landlord or letting agent doesn’t have one. Start by making a list of any furnishings or appliances already in your flat when you moved in. If your flat came furnished, this will be quite a long list but if it was unfurnished, it will probably just be white goods.

Write down the state that your property is in, making note of anything that’s damaged or broken. This includes if there’s any scuffs on the floor, any peeling paint on the walls or any doors that don’t shut properly. Taking photos of any damage to include in your inventory is even better.

Get an independent witness to sign your inventory – this means someone who doesn’t live in the property. Send a copy of the inventory to your landlord and keep a copy yourself. You should also ask your landlord to confirm that they’ve received your inventory so they don’t later claim you never sent it.

If you’re having problems getting your deposit back, read our blog on how to reclaim your rental deposit.

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