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Article #1 - Why It Makes Sense For Landlords To Have A Property Inventory

Too many investment properties and holiday homes around the world have no asset record of property and contents. A complete asset record, often termed 'inventory', plays a crucial role in:

  • Preparing for loss through natural disaster, accident or theft.
  • Reducing tenant dispute.

Landlords whom have been unlucky and suffered the above, often record a Property Inventory after the event.

A landlord's Property Inventory is a record of property, contents or both. Taken before or at the commencement of tenancy. Recording the property / condition, including items that may be included in the tenancy.

It can be common for landlords to not have an inventory of the property, that would clearly define the:

  • State of decoration and fittings.
  • Type of appliances and condition.

Landlords need a system where they have 'on hand' information and can prove issues legally, such as proving:

  • The condition of the property at start of tenancy.
  • What brand of white goods are installed.
  • The type of furniture provided.
  • The condition of the pool pump.
  • Fair wear and tear on the property and its contents.

A Digital Photographic Inventory easily proves the condition of the property and the contents at the time the tenant arrived. If the tenant is supplied with a copy of the inventory, there is less chance of a dispute.

Statistics by Woolcott Research Pty Ltd [Australia] report:

  • - 40% of tenants default on rent or damage property.
  • - Less than 50% of landlords have 'landlords insurance'.
  • - 1 in 3 rental properties have no rental agreement in place and have no   inspections.
  • - More than 1 in 3 landlords do not screen the tenant for previous rental history, employment & banking references.

Why Do Landlords Take All These Risks With Their Assets, Their Main Investment?

Surely it makes sense for any landlord whom wants to ease the thought of tenancy and make it an enjoyable experience, to make sure there is a Property Inventory taken at tenancy 'check in' and the inventory is updated at 'check out'.

Landlords Wishing To Take Their Own Property Inventory

Some landlords choose to do their own Property Inventory and this is good news. There is no set 'standard' for a Property Inventory, so make sure it is a descriptive accurate record, properly formatted and easy to understand. If your going to go for the best, you would take a Digital Photographic Inventory backed up with a 'Property Condition Report' and relevant documents.

A Property Condition Report is a record of property condition. Having all of this information would mean that you are:

  • Prepared for any dispute.
  • Totally prepared for any loss through natural disaster, accident or theft.
  • Increasing tenant retention by both parties knowing where they stand.
  • In a position to forward the inventory & documents easily to insurance and authorities.

Using A Home Inventory Service To Take Inventory.

Landlords often want someone to take inventory for them. Someone they can trust to get the job done quickly, accurately and professionally. If the property is hours away or the landlord is busy, it is difficult! Not knowing of anyone offering a service of this kind in the area makes it impossible!

What is needed is the services of a Home Inventory Service. A business that takes inventory for the landlord. A Home Inventory Service will do what the landlord wants to do and supply what is needed! A Property Inventory that can be easily stored, mailed or transmitted to the necessary authorities, legal services or insurance suppliers.

A Home Inventory Service supplies the documentation that eliminates risks of damage to property and contents by the tenant. Not forgetting damage / theft caused by a burglar. Use the same Inventory data to correct insurance cover. A Digital Photographic Property Inventory increases both the landlord's and tenant's feeling of security, along with giving both peace of mind.

A longer tenancy is easily possible, making it less obvious that the property is rented, compared to changes in new tenants every few months. Professional Property Inventories help a prospective tenant know that the landlord is managing and aware of the property. This can only increase the chance of the tenancy commencing and being extended. Splitting the cost of the inventory with the tenant can be discussed or the cost built into the rent.

Being Prepared For Fire & Other Reasons for Loss!

Lastly let us not forget the subject of fire! Regulations may state your property has to have smoke alarms, but what have you got for the tenant to put the fire out with? Fire extinguisher and fire blanket are the best items for this task. It pays to get both of these items installed. Do not forget to make sure there is a evacuation plan and disaster / emergency kit. Ask your Home Inventory Service for information and advice. You may have insurance for the property but what about lost tenancy income! Ask your insurance supplier about this one!

Landlords that use a Home Inventory Service to create a Digital Photographic Inventory and have a Property Condition Report, know their management plan is prepared for loss, and have the ability to enjoy a more stable tenancy.

Copyright 2006-2009 - Aussie Home Inventories
AHI Article #1 - Why It Makes Sense For Landlords To Have A Property Inventory.
Written By Andrew Goodfellow - Inventory Consultant at Aussie Home Inventories.
A Home Inventory Service managing the
Global Inventory Information Network. A network of sites designed to help families & homes, looking for information on taking inventory & preparing for loss.
Aussie Home Inventories - Home Inventory Service - Australia
This article may be freely distributed if the copyright notice and resource box stays attached!

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