Signed inventory- but cracked window not mentioned

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    Signed inventory- but cracked window not mentioned

    Dear all,

    If an inventory listing the contents of the property has been signed, with no notes regarding the condition of the property, can the tenants turn around and state that something was already present before the start of the tenancy? eg, a cracked window?

    Said window pane was definitely not cracked prior to the tenancy. Tenants are claiming it was. Is it their word against mine, or is the fact they never indicated any prior dilapidations on the inventory evidence in my favour?

    Thanks.


    #2
    If the inventory is signed by the tenant, it is the agreed condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy.

    If it was "agreed" that the window was not cracked, then it wasn't.
    Now signature free.

    Comment


      #3
      A further note though. The window must have been mentioned specifically in the inventory.

      If not, (as is the case with many self compiled inventories, where components are missed) there is no agreement on the condition.
      Now signature free.

      Comment


        #4
        Unfortunately it wasn't mentioned in the inventory lorenzo. (do people mention things like windows, doors, door handles, etc in their inventories?)
        What happens in that situation?

        Furthermore, if items were mentioned, but not their condition, eg, a vacuum cleaner....what is the 'assumed' condition of it?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by vss2000 View Post
          Unfortunately it wasn't mentioned in the inventory lorenzo. (do people mention things like windows, doors, door handles, etc in their inventories?)
          What happens in that situation?

          Furthermore, if items were mentioned, but not their condition, eg, a vacuum cleaner....what is the 'assumed' condition of it?
          To avoid confusion, bad feeling and court cases, it is wise to list all items on the inventory room by room, including anything at all which might conceivably be subject to damage - which I suppose must include doors, windows walls and ceilings - then have the tenants sign to agree that

          (i) all items listed are present in the property
          (ii) all items listed were in a clean, new/nearly new and undamaged condition at the start of the tenancy on (date), with the exception of anything noted specifically on the inventory, on that day.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

          Comment


            #6
            Also consider using (alongside a written Inventory) either one or both of:
            a. photographs, dated/signed; or
            b. videographic evidence in tamper-proof format (if such a thing exists).
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by vss2000 View Post
              Unfortunately it wasn't mentioned in the inventory lorenzo. (do people mention things like windows, doors, door handles, etc in their inventories?)
              What happens in that situation?

              Furthermore, if items were mentioned, but not their condition, eg, a vacuum cleaner....what is the 'assumed' condition of it?
              Then there is no proof of the condition of the window. Your word against their's.

              In a professional inventory, there is usually a clause that states any item listed is pressumed to be in good condition unless otherwise noted.

              eg if the listing said

              double glazed pvc window

              it is assumed to be in good condition

              Otherwise it would be listed as (for eg):

              double glazed pvc window - crack in inside glass panel, fingermarks on handle

              Advice: get an independent inventory clerk in future.
              Now signature free.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by vss2000 View Post
                Dear all,

                If an inventory listing the contents of the property has been signed, with no notes regarding the condition of the property, can the tenants turn around and state that something was already present before the start of the tenancy? eg, a cracked window?

                Said window pane was definitely not cracked prior to the tenancy. Tenants are claiming it was. Is it their word against mine, or is the fact they never indicated any prior dilapidations on the inventory evidence in my favour?

                Thanks.



                A professional inventory clerk would describe each room, the various components of that room (walls, floors, ceiling, window, doors) fittings and furniture, etc., along with comments as to the condition of each aspect in that room if a comment is warranted as to its condition if not in good order.
                Photos are now commonly taken and are featured in the inventory and also at check out to compare with the check in.

                It is therefore normal for an inventory clerk to leave the comments field blank for any component or item in a room that appears to be in at least good order. The exception to this seems to be if an item can be seen as being new (item still in wrapping, receipt/invoice to hand, etc.).

                If the inventory hasn't been complied by a professional inventory clerk, then it is unlikely to feature such attention to detail.

                Trouble free lettings usually feature a professionally drawn up inventory and check in and outs.

                I would put this down to experience and suggest that you ensure you use professional inventory clerks in future, for peace of mind and to avoid any arguments especially since the costs are not that much when you consider everything.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Alternatively, it would be worth looking at an example of a professisonally drawn-up inventory and using it as a model for your own inventory, if you don't want to use a clerk. Rigour and detail are the key!
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Will have to make sure I do it next time.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Photo inventory

                      Consider this, first though you need a laptop that can read your cameras memory and the ability to write to a CD or DVD.
                      Provide a simple but comprehensive inventory with DETAIL ONLY where required with a very comprehensive photo inventory taken at the same time and provided to the tenants on a closed off write only disc BEFORE you leave the house. The folder in which their images are stored on the CD/DVD should have the same name as the file on your laptop. Once you have done this a few times it's surprisingly quick and perfectly effective. That the photo cd/dvd has been provided to the tenants should be added to the inventory.
                      I think it's about as good as it gets and certainly better than just the written word!
                      If you do a photo inventory and just take the pics away I think you compromise their value, after all they could have been taken before any damage was done!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You would have to photograph every square inch of each room.

                        There is a reason professional clerks use written reports with photographs only as an addition.
                        Now signature free.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by lorenzo View Post
                          You would have to photograph every square inch of each room.

                          There is a reason professional clerks use written reports with photographs only as an addition.
                          Agreed. We had a tenant who got stroppy when we charged her for damage in her bedroom (she had ironed clothes on the floor and burnt the carpet). She said she would not pay anything until we could produce 'photographic evidence' that her carpet hadn't been damaged to begin with. As lorenzo says, you'd need photos of every square inch. She had signed the declaration to say everything on inventory list was present and in nearly-new, undamaged condition. It was enough. She paid. (Or her mother did, in the end).
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Photograph every square inch, why not?

                            Note,

                            the photo's are in addition to the inventory, not instead of and for what it's worth I can photograph every inch more comprehensively, accurately and rapidly than anybody could ever write descriptions with the same detail in a reasonable time.

                            A simple bare room takes only seconds to capture every square inch, I don't see a problem only a more comprehensive solution.

                            Everyone to their own I guess.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by cmbhappy View Post
                              A simple bare room takes only seconds to capture every square inch.
                              But where is the detail in such a short amount of footage?
                              What about capturing what is behind you in the room?
                              What about rooms that aren't bare?

                              Comment

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