Your tenancy inventory list is one of the most important things that a landlord should do at the beginning of every new tenancy.

If you don’t complete a thorough inventory, it can be difficult to deduct fines from the security deposit for any damages to the house or the furniture. Without recorded proof of all existing damage at the beginning of a tenancy, it will be your word against theirs if you try suspect they have caused damage that needs paying for.

Here are few simple tips for putting together a water-tight tenancy inventory.

Be thorough!

This is the key thing to remember; do not leave anything out of the tenancy inventory not matter how small it may seem.

Check window locks, skirting boards, mouldings, hinges and work surfaces. Check that all power sockets and light switches are working. And don’t forget to test the water flow of all taps.

Tenant Check

Once you have done your own tenancy inventory, do the same again in the company of the tenant. This way, if they notice anything you didn’t, or consider something to be of note that you didn’t, it can be included on the final inventory. Again, this will help protect you if needed in the future.

Photograph Everything

There is no stronger proof than a dated photograph. Be sure to use an independent company so that there is no room for arguments when it comes to the legitimacy of the photography.

Not only should you photograph existing damage, but also expensive fittings and furniture in good condition to allow for easy comparison before and after the tenancy.


A signature from both you and the tenant is essential. Go through the final tenancy inventory together to make sure you are both satisfied with its contents and then sign. A copy should be kept by both parties.

At the end…

At the end of the tenancy, when the tenant has cleared and cleaned the property, using the tenancy inventory as a reference, go through and check everything.

Thanks to the thorough inventory, there should be no conflict or discrepancy between the two parties as to what, if any, damage needs paying for.
If, however, there are still disagreements, a strong tenancy inventory will put you on steady ground with any external moderators that a bought it to resolve the issues.

It seems simple and, really, it is. But landlords are still failing to remain vigilant and losing money that they are entitled to simply because they didn’t put sufficient checks in place. Be sure not to make the same mistake.