Making an Inventory (and why it’s important)

What is an inventory? An inventory is a list of what items have been supplied with your rented flat, and what condition the flat and the furniture, décor and other items are in. Completing an inventory at the outset can help avoid disputes at the end of your tenancy.

Why do I need an inventory?

An inventory is worth doing.  If you have paid a deposit to your landlord/letting agent, a detailed and accurate inventory can help avoid arguments over how much of your deposit is to be refunded to you when you move out.

Tenancy deposit schemes offer a free dispute resolution service. If your landlord does try to retain some or all of your deposit unfairly, a fully completed inventory will be accepted as evidence by the adjudicator working to settle any dispute.

An inventory is free – landlords/letting agents are not allowed to charge you for drawing up an inventory, nor for checking it at the end of your lease.

When should I make an inventory?

As soon as you move in, if the landlord/letting agent does not have one already.

What should be in the inventory?

  • An inventory lists the contents of the property you’re renting and what condition things are in when you start your tenancy.
  • It is in tenants’ interest to complete an inventory as fully as possible, because if anything in the property is already damaged, or in need of repair, the inventory proves that you can’t be held responsible for the cost of that item.
  • You should add anything which is not already on the inventory and make a note of anything which is missing, damaged, broken or worn.
  • Add in anything which needs repairs, e.g. if there is a leak anywhere, discoloration on the walls, ceilings or floor coverings, or if there is mould in the bathroom.
  • Make a note of the state of cleanliness of the property and its fittings.
  • Make sure both you and your landlord (or the agent) sign and date the inventory when you are happy that the inventory is correct. The earlier this is done the better, and ideally should be completed by the end of the first week of moving in.
  • Take photos when you first move in, and take another set of photos when you move out. Keep them safe.
  • Make sure you get a copy of the inventory and keep it safe in case you need to use it as evidence if there is a dispute over your deposit.

My landlord/letting agent hasn’t given me an inventory – what now?

Your landlord or letting agent should supply you with an inventory.  If they do not have one, then you can download our Model Inventory and adapt and amend it as appropriate to your particular flat.

Once again, remember to make sure the landlord or agent signs the inventory as well.

If your landlord or letting agent will not sign the inventory, make sure you keep a copy anyway.  It may also be helpful to keep evidence that you have asked them to sign it (for example any emails or texts).

If you have any questions or need more information, contact the SRC Advice Centre.