What to do about poor check in inventory

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  • What to do about poor check in inventory

    Hi

    I am T. I picked up the keys to my new place mid-feb and a week ago received an inventory from the LA. They sent it late because the house had (in some cases, still has) various problems that needed attention.

    The trouble is the inventory has little bearing on the state of the property, either on handover of the keys or now (for the most part it says the house was clean and in good condition whereas there was a very thick covering of dust throughout, paint drips on the floor, mould in the bathroom etc.), and the LA expect me to go through the document and "update". This would take several hours.

    I am not sure how best to approach their request. It seems to me they are asking me to do their job for them and that, if something I missed was contested at the end of my tenancy, the fact that *I* prepared the inventory would leave me in a poor position.

    Can I refuse to sign or update and will my refusal come back to bite me? If I can refuse, do you have a suggestion on how to politely word it?

    (A friend and I have each taken photos so I have evidence of how the place was given to me)

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
    Hi

    I am T. I picked up the keys to my new place mid-feb and a week ago received an inventory from the LA. They sent it late because the house had (in some cases, still has) various problems that needed attention.

    The trouble is the inventory has little bearing on the state of the property, either on handover of the keys or now (for the most part it says the house was clean and in good condition whereas there was a very thick covering of dust throughout, paint drips on the floor, mould in the bathroom etc.), and the LA expect me to go through the document and "update". This would take several hours.

    I am not sure how best to approach their request. It seems to me they are asking me to do their job for them and that, if something I missed was contested at the end of my tenancy, the fact that *I* prepared the inventory would leave me in a poor position.

    Can I refuse to sign or update and will my refusal come back to bite me? If I can refuse, do you have a suggestion on how to politely word it?

    (A friend and I have each taken photos so I have evidence of how the place was given to me)

    Many thanks!
    Of course you can refuse to sign it.Just say 'I regret that I am unable to sign the inventory you sent me for x address, since it bears very little relation to the actual state of the property at the commencement of my tenancy.' You could even send your own version of it, based on theirs but with annotations to show the differences between their inventory and reality.

    Sign your own version as being an accurate description of the property on x date when you moved in, and include the photos you took.

    If you have had to clean the property yourself, point this out and say that you do not expect to have to clean it again at the end of the tenancy as it was dirty to begin with. Ask them to agree to this in writing.

    You are right that in some ways they are asking you to do their job, although most LLs will ask the Ts to go through the inventory themselves to check it is correct. However, yours will be the only signed inventory they have and at the end of the tenancy they will struggle to claim any deductions from your deposit, won't they?
    '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

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    • #3
      Thanks MTG.

      I've only been here 6 or 7 weeks but have had to push every step of the way to get the L / LA to keep to their end of the bargain. The goodwill compromises I've made have so far cost me about £300, wasted weekends and time off work but now they've started with threats to dock my (so far, unprotected - that's the next battle) deposit for something that I have in writing is the L's responsibility so this issue with the inventory has just about pushed me to the edge.

      Actually, I want to say a very big THANK YOU! to everyone on this forum. If I hadn't read your advice to others and asked for the LA's promises in writing then I would be having an even more difficult time of it.

      If it was a case of checking through a properly prepared inventory and updating the odd comment then there would be no problem. Unfortunately, the inventory they have sent is clearly based on a template that assumes the property had been cleaned and was in good order - it hadn't and isn't, and would take several hours to redo properly.

      Am I right in thinking that preparing my own version would only benefit them rather than both of us? They can have my photos and I'll let them make an appointment to inspect the place so they can update it themselves, I just don't have the energy any more to do this for them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
        Am I right in thinking that preparing my own version would only benefit them rather than both of us? They can have my photos and I'll let them make an appointment to inspect the place so they can update it themselves, I just don't have the energy any more to do this for them.
        LL/LA benefit if you ignore the situation as they'll keep your deposit.

        Sorry you've had such a bad time so far. Unfortunately this needs sorting now, at the outset of your tenancy. Otherwise you'll be expected to return the property in the condition inaccurately described by the LA/LL which seems to be the figment of someone's imagination. (Maybe they're describing someone else's home? )

        Anyway, big hassle, but one way or another you need a full and accurate inventory. So if LA won't do it, you need to. If you don't get it documented and acknowledged by the LA, you'll be in big doo doo at the end.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by trill View Post
          LL/LA benefit if you ignore the situation as they'll keep your deposit.

          Sorry you've had such a bad time so far. Unfortunately this needs sorting now, at the outset of your tenancy. Otherwise you'll be expected to return the property in the condition inaccurately described by the LA/LL which seems to be the figment of someone's imagination. (Maybe they're describing someone else's home? )

          Anyway, big hassle, but one way or another you need a full and accurate inventory. So if LA won't do it, you need to. If you don't get it documented and acknowledged by the LA, you'll be in big doo doo at the end.
          Trill - how would the lack of signed inventory hinder T?

          With no signed inventory (and photos to contradict the unsigned one) the LL/LA would find it almost impossible to claim against the deposit - protected or unprotected.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
            The goodwill compromises I've made have so far cost me about £300, wasted weekends and time off work but now they've started with threats to dock my (so far, unprotected - that's the next battle) deposit for something that I have in writing is the L's responsibility so this issue with the inventory has just about pushed me to the edge.
            If they have not protected your deposit send them a Letter Before Action asking them for the prescribed details from the scheme they have used (the deposit should have been protected within 14 days of its receipt by LL) and reminding them that if they do not protect your deposit immediately you will have no option but to sue for its return and for the non-protection penalty of 3x its value.

            Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
            Actually, I want to say a very big THANK YOU! to everyone on this forum. If I hadn't read your advice to others and asked for the LA's promises in writing then I would be having an even more difficult time of it.
            Glad to be of help.

            Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
            If it was a case of checking through a properly prepared inventory and updating the odd comment then there would be no problem. Unfortunately, the inventory they have sent is clearly based on a template that assumes the property had been cleaned and was in good order - it hadn't and isn't, and would take several hours to redo properly.
            Iagree that in an ideal world you should not have to do this but it will be several hours well spent, believe me.

            Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
            Am I right in thinking that preparing my own version would only benefit them rather than both of us? They can have my photos and I'll let them make an appointment to inspect the place so they can update it themselves, I just don't have the energy any more to do this for them.
            No, it is definitely in your interests to have them use your inventory rather than their own, which as you say is inaccurate and in their favour, not yours.
            '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

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            • #7
              Trill, Snorkerz and MTG - thanks again.

              Snorkerz, I thought the same as you but I guess MTG makes sense. That would only work if they didn't bother to come and update whereas if they do (and if they've any sense they would) there's no guarantee it will be any more accurate the second time around. I'll bite the bullet and do it myself.

              MTG - Thanks for the info about the deposit - that will be useful. I am currently battling to get some repairs done so I decided to focus on one thing at a time (I have more than 4 months before the deposit could become an issue). I'll have a think about whether that approach is a mistake, though.

              I'm gutted. I had hoped to be here for a few years.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by anotherTenant View Post
                Trill, Snorkerz and MTG - thanks again.

                Snorkerz, I thought the same as you but I guess MTG makes sense. That would only work if they didn't bother to come and update whereas if they do (and if they've any sense they would) there's no guarantee it will be any more accurate the second time around. I'll bite the bullet and do it myself.

                MTG - Thanks for the info about the deposit - that will be useful. I am currently battling to get some repairs done so I decided to focus on one thing at a time (I have more than 4 months before the deposit could become an issue). I'll have a think about whether that approach is a mistake, though.

                I'm gutted. I had hoped to be here for a few years.
                You could still be - but would you want to be, with a LL and agent like this?
                '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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  Trill - how would the lack of signed inventory hinder T?

                  With no signed inventory (and photos to contradict the unsigned one) the LL/LA would find it almost impossible to claim against the deposit - protected or unprotected.
                  So, are you saying, if the inventory is inaccurate, don't amend, sign or acknowledge receipt? Isn't this a bit like an ostrich sticking it's head in the sand?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trill View Post
                    So, are you saying, if the inventory is inaccurate, don't amend, sign or acknowledge receipt? Isn't this a bit like an ostrich sticking it's head in the sand?
                    As long as OP presents an accurate signed inventory to the LA/LL (and keeps a copy, of course), it doesn't really matter whether it started off as the LLs one heavily amended and annotated, or a new one compiled by OP.

                    Against OP's new version which will be (i) signed and (ii) supported by photos, the LL's original 'useless' one will be just that (useless) at the end of the tenancy, if OP did not agree it.
                    '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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by trill View Post
                      So, are you saying, if the inventory is inaccurate, don't amend, sign or acknowledge receipt? Isn't this a bit like an ostrich sticking it's head in the sand?
                      The key is 'don't sign'. In either court or ADR the landlord has to prove the condition at the start of the tenancy and the condition at the end. An unsigned inventory is not proof.

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