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What is an inventory and how to make one

An inventory is a list of the contents of a property. Having an inventory is important if you want to get your deposit back.

What is an inventory?

An inventory is a list of everything that is in the property you're renting (for example, furniture, carpets and curtains, kitchenware, etc) and the condition it's in.

Why do I need an inventory?

An inventory can help avoid a dispute over your deposit when you move out because it proves what state the property was in when you moved in. It's in your landlord's interest to provide an inventory, because if you break or damage anything while you are living there, the inventory shows that it wasn't broken before you moved in. On the other hand, if anything in the property is already damaged, the inventory proves that you didn't do it.

How do I get an inventory?

  • Your landlord or letting agent should supply you with an inventory. If they haven't done so by the time you move in, ask for one.

How do I make an inventory?

  • If you aren't given an inventory, you can make one yourself and get an independent witness who doesn't live in the property to sign it. You can download an inventory form. You could also take photos of the property when you move in.

What else do I need to do?

  • Check the inventory before you sign it - make a note of anything that is damaged, broken or worn. Make sure that everything in the property is listed on the inventory, and that there is nothing listed on the inventory that you can't find in the property.
  • Make sure you and your landlord sign the inventory - once you are happy that the inventory is correct both you and your landlord or letting agent sign it.
  • Take photos - this is so you prove what state the property was in when you moved in.
  • Put the inventory in a safe place - in case you need to rely on it to get your deposit back.

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The important points

  • An inventory lists the contents of the property you're renting and what condition things are in when you start your tenancy.
  • Your landlord or letting agent should supply you with an inventory.
  • Make sure both you and your landlord sign the inventory when you are happy that the inventory is correct.

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