At Martin & Co we always recommend that all Landlords have an independent inventory and schedule of condition drawn up at the commencement of a tenancy. If you've recently let your property, or are thinking of doing so, don't underestimate the importance of having an inventory.
This document will detail contents, fixtures and fittings and cleanliness as well as basics such as the walls, doors, ceilings, lighting and flooring. The Tenant will sign this document to confirm their agreement to the detail and this will form the basis for the 'check-out'.
What is a check out?
Prior to the Tenant vacating the property they should be provided with a check list of items which they need to pay attention to. The Martin & Co tenancy agreement also confirms the Tenants responsibilities during the tenancy regarding the condition of the premises, repairs and cleaning.
The Tenant should be prepared for the vacation date and an appointment should be made for the Tenant to meet with the clerk at the property in order to accompany them for the 'check out' appointment and hand back the keys at the end of the appointment.
The check-out appointment will involve the clerk using the original inventory which the Tenant signed and they will conduct a spot the difference exercise. Each difference is noted on the document and the Tenant will be asked to sign this to confirm that they agree with the findings.
Who is responsible for what?
Some of the points raised on the report will fall back as the Landlords responsibility - fair wear and tear together with general maintenance of the property.
The Tenant is responsible for damages, cleanliness, up keep of the garden to a seasonal order and general dilapidations but these should all be noted when identified on the 'check out' report.
Your Martin & Co local office are able to review the clerk's comments and can obtain quotes for work to be carried out where applicable. The rules do not allow for a new for old policy and therefore if there are burns on carpets for example, then the Landlord may apply for an apportionment amount of money to hold until the carpets are eventually replaced.
Apportionments can be quite complex and your Martin & Co local office is best placed to be able to calculate these on behalf of a Landlord. If a Tenant disputes any potential deduction from their deposit the Landlord must ensure that they are being realistic with their proposals, that they can provide evidence to back up their claim and show that they have applied the apportionment theory.
Contact Martin & Co Exeter who can provide you with more information on the services which they can supply to assist you at this sometimes tricky time of a tenancy.