Skip to main content

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.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're England

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.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

Was this page helpful?

This feedback tool can't offer advice. If you still need help, please call our free housing helpline on 0808 800 4444

Would you recommend Shelter Scotland's website to a friend, colleague or family member?
(0 - not at all likely, 10 - extremely likely)


Your feedback is being submitted

Success! Thank you for your feedback.

Sorry, there was a problem sending your feedback to us. Please try again or contact us via the website if this error persists.

The fight isn't over - support us this summer

far from fixed campaign logo
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today. Join our campaign
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today.
Support us by running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Raise money by running the Edinburgh Marathon for Shelter Scotland
Have you had a bad housing experience? Tell us about your story.
Share your story of a bad housing experience
£